SALT LAKE CITY September 22, 2017 – Today, Attorney General Sean Reyes released a letter he signed with 43 other attorneys general expressing concerns and requesting compliance from Equifax that will provide greater transparency and protect consumers.
The letter notes that, at the request of the attorneys general, Equifax made its offer of free credit monitoring services more prominent so that it can more easily be found by consumers. The letter then demands that Equifax take the following actions:
- Disable links to the Equifax fee-based credit monitoring services until the sign-up period for free credit monitoring services has ended.
- Extend the sign-up period for free credit monitoring services to at least January 31, 2018.
- Take steps to reimburse consumers who incur fees to completely freeze their credit by enrolling in security freeze services from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- Make the Equifax call center number more prominently visible on Equifax websites and ensure the hotline is adequately staffed 24 hours a day to create shorter wait times.
- Notify the attorneys general about communications made to impacted consumers regarding their affected information and privacy.
AG Reyes issued the following statement, in conjunction with the release of the letter:
“This may be the largest and most damaging breach in our nation’s history; one that has affected 143 million U.S residents. Utah residents need all the information and tools available to help them mitigate the damage. To do this, Equifax must be transparent and accountable.
At this point in the crisis, they need to offer clear and concise steps so consumers can protect their information. We believe Equifax should not be profiting from their breach by continuing to offer a fee-based credit monitoring product, neither should they be charging consumers to freeze their credit.
I stand with an overwhelming majority of our sister states in calling for greater responsiveness and transparency from Equifax. Consumers need a clear path to protect data that may have been compromised by the breach.
Cyber security, identity protection and data protection have been and will remain top priorities for the Utah Attorney General’s Office.”
The multi-state investigation began immediately upon Equifax formally announcing the data breach. From the outset, the Utah Attorney General’s Office has been working alongside other states to discern the best course of action to protect residents. That includes assisting current victims and preventing future incidents of information loss.
1. The full text of the letter from the attorneys general can be downloaded as a PDF file. (885KB)
2. The Federal Trade Commission website is an excellent resource on Equifax breach issues. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do
3. Utahns can find multiple ways to prevent identity theft at https://idtheft.utah.gov