State Attorneys General Ask Equifax to Stop Selling Credit Monitoring Services

Updated on
  • Company seems to be using breach as sales opportunity, AGs say
  • Equifax said last week hackers accessed data of 143 million

Equifax May Have Been Slow to Fix Security Flaw

Equifax Inc. should stop selling credit-monitoring on its web site and take advantage of confused customers who don’t know they can get the service for free, said a group of attorneys general investigating the company’s massive data breach.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who is helping lead the probe by 32 states, urged the company in a letter Friday to disable links to its fee-based monitoring services until a sign-up for the free service ends. The current cutoff date is Nov. 21 and Jepsen told the company that should be extended at least until Jan. 31.

"We object to Equifax seemingly using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to breach victims," the attorneys general said. "Equifax cannot reap benefits from confused consumers who are likely only visiting Equifax’s homepage because they are concerned about whether the breach affects them and their families.”

The company said last week that hackers accessed sensitive data that included Social Security numbers and names and addresses of as many as 143 million U.S. consumers, as well as customers in Canada. The company said on Friday that some information on as many as 400,000 U.K. customers may also have been hacked.

Marisa Salcines, a spokeswoman for Equifax, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the attorneys general’s letter.

(Updates with excerpts from letter starting in second paragraph.)
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