FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2017
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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ATTORNEY GENERAL STEVE MARSHALL AMONG 32 ATTORNEYS GENERAL
CALLING ON EQUIFAX TO STOP CHARGING FOR CREDIT MONITORING
AND TO REIMBURSE FEES CONSUMERS PAY FOR SECURITY FREEZES TO
THEIR ACCOUNTS AS A RESULT OF EQUIFAX’S MASSIVE DATA BREACH
AG MARSHALL ALSO WARNS CONSUMERS AGAINST FALLING VICTIM TO SCAMMERS
CLAIMING TO BE FROM EQUIFAX
(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is among 32 attorneys general
calling on Equifax to drop fees it charges for its credit monitoring service and to reimburse
consumers who were forced to pay for security freezes to their credit accounts as a result of the
Equifax data breach.
“By Equifax’s own admission, the company suffered a massive data breach potentially
compromising the credit of 143 million people,” said Attorney General Marshall. “While my
office and those of many of my fellow attorneys general prepare to investigate the
circumstances of this unprecedented data breach, it is important that Equifax stop efforts to
profit off of the very same people who were victim of its own failure to protect their credit
In their letter to Equifax, Attorney General Marshall and the other attorneys general called on
the credit management company to halt its fee-based services to consumers and to extend the
period of signup for free credit monitoring until at least January 21, 2018.
“We object to Equifax seemingly using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to
breach victims. Selling a fee-based product that competes with Equifax’s own free offer of
credit monitoring services to victims of Equifax’s own data breach is unfair, particularly if
consumers are not sure if their information was compromised. 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 attorneys general also voiced objection to consumers being forced to pay for security
freezes to their credit accounts as they attempt to protect themselves from Equifax’s data
“Although Equifax is not charging consumers a fee for its own security freeze service, these
consumers are furious that they have been forced to pay for a security freeze with other
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.alabama.gov Page 2 of 3
companies, such as Experian and TransUnion, when this privacy breach was no fault of their
own. We agree with these consumers that it is indefensible that they be forced to pay fees to
fully protect themselves from the fallout of Equifax’s data breach. Accordingly, we believe
Equifax should, at a minimum, be taking steps to reimburse consumers who incur fees to
completely freeze their credit.”
The attorneys general also asked Equifax to address complaints of long wait times or the
inability of consumers to access its call center.
“Ö[I]t has been generally reported that consumers are encountering long wait times or are
unable to get through to your call center. We have received similar complaints from our
consumers, who have also stated they cannot locate Equifax’s phone number on your website.
We request that you feature your call center number more prominently on www.equifax.com
and www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. In addition, this hotline should be available 24 hours a day
and properly staffed to ensure shorter wait times.”
Separately, Attorney General Marshall warned Alabamians to be on the lookout for scammers
hoping to take advantage of consumers’ concerns over the data breach.
“Although Equifax has informed attorneys general that it will not be emailing, texting or calling
impacted consumers, the Federal Trade Commission is reporting that fraudsters are already
attempting to cash in on the unsuspecting public through phone scams,” said Attorney General
Marshall. “I urge anyone who receives such a phone call, text or email to report it to the
Alabama Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-392-5658.”
Tips for Consumers to Avoid being Victimized:
- Don’t give personal information. Don’t provide any personal or financial information unless
you’ve initiated the call and it’s to a phone number you know is correct.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can spoof their numbers so it looks like they are calling from a
particular company, even when they’re not.
- If you get a robocall, hang up. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator or any other key to take
your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to
- If you gave your personal information to an imposter, it’s time to change any compromised
passwords, account numbers or security questions.
- Verify your credit reports with all three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, by
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- Monitor existing accounts closely. Check bank and credit card statements for unauthorized
For more information about the Equifax breach, visit Equifax’s website,
www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, or contact their call center at 1-866-447-7559.