Equifax Extends Their Free Credit Freeze to Victims, I Mean, Consumers

So remember how the other day Equifax said it was going to stop offering up protection to customers put at risk with their data breach? Well today they seem to have changed their tune. According to CNBC, Equifax came to its senses and has extended their free credit report freeze. How very nice of them. The original offer was for one year of credit-monitoring through Equifax. I always thought it was sort of strange for the company which allowed the breach to occur in the first place, being the ones you were supposed to trust to get it right.
It was an unprecedented 145 million customers which were affected by the breach. And Equifax did everything they could to try and keep things quiet. It wasn’t until it got too big to hide that finally they fessed up to the mess. Mike Litt, Consumer Campaign Director at consumer advocacy group US PIRG said, Whether your information was stolen in the Equifax breach or not, the best thing you can do is get credit freezes at all three. You’ll have peace of mind and you could save yourself the time and stress of dealing with fraudulent debt on your credit reports.”

The personal data stolen included names, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses and even some driver’s license numbers. Even though 145 million customers had their data compromised, about 15.4 million customers were victims of identity fraud in 2016. This is based on a report from Javelin Strategy and Research.
Here’s the rub, normally these credit freezes cost money. In fact, PIRG says that it would cost $4.1 billion for 158 million consumers to freeze their reports from the three major credit bureaus. There’s legislation coming in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin which would make credit freezes free for residents. That would be in addition to the eight states where it’s already free.