Equifax faulted in credit data breach

MONTPELIER — Vermont’s attorney general is considering going to court to protect the more than 240,000 Vermonters affected by a data breach at the credit rating agency Equifax.
The Vermonters affected are among the 143 million Americans whose information was exposed at Equifax, one of three major credit reporting agencies.
Those Vermonters may have had their names, Social Security numbers, addresses and other personal information exposed to hackers. A subset of them may have had their driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers compromised.
The breach happened July 29. Equifax went public about the event Sept. 7.
“I think it’s a huge concern that they failed to report, not only to the public, but to our office,” said Chris Curtis, the chief of the attorney general’s Public Protection Division. “There is a Data Breach Notification Act (in Vermont) that requires notice within 14 days of the breach.”
Vermonters who have general questions can go to Consumer.Vermont.gov to read material the attorney general’s office has prepared about the Equifax data breach. They can also call the state’s Consumer Assistance Program at 1-800-649-2424.
Curtis encouraged all Vermonters, whether they are affected by the breach or not, to go to FreeCreditReport.com to get a free copy annually of their credit reports. If they notice any suspicious activity, such as a new account they did not open, they can take further action, he said.
To report suspicious activity, Vermonters can notify the police, credit rating agencies or the Federal Trade Commission, Curtis said. The two other major credit agencies are TransUnion and Experian.

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