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NY Daily News: Two New York women file suit against Equifax over massive data breach


Two New York women "live in constant fear" that they might be victims of identity theft because of Equifax's massive data breach, according to a new lawsuit.

Linda Tirelli, a consumer lawyer, and Brooke Merino filed a claim against Equifax on Monday, alleging the credit reporting agency "failed to properly safeguard the information."

Tirelli and Merino's lawyers, of the firm DannLaw, claim their information was compromised in the hi-tech data attack.

Equifax announced Thursday that the Social Security numbers of some 143 million Americans — about half the U.S. — were hacked from May to July. Eight million people in New York State were reportedly impacted.

The company said "criminals" cribbed other personal info such as birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers, as well as some 209,000 U.S. consumers' credit card numbers.

Equifax found out about the cyberheist July 29, but it didn't tell customers until last week.

The Manhattan Federal Court suit, which seeks class action status, maintains Equifax dropped the ball both in protecting consumers and giving them enough notice about the breach — violating state and federal law.

Equifax did not respond to requests for comment.

Lorelei Salas, commissioner of the city's Department of Consumer Affairs, lambasted Equifax's response to the breach in a Friday letter to the company.

While Equifax allowed consumers to see whether their data was leaked — and offered free enrollment in its credit monitoring program for one year — Salas is demanding the company "engage in targeted outreach."

"We have thus far seen no proactive effort on the part of Equifax to notify all affected consumers," she wrote.

Salas wants Equifax to provide demographic info on impacted consumers in New York City, such as their zip codes, so officials can ramp up local outreach efforts.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Friday that his office is investigating the data breach.

"The Equifax breach has potentially exposed sensitive personal information of nearly everyone with a credit report, and my office intends to get to the bottom of how and why this massive hack occurred," he said.

Equifax, among the largest credit monitoring agencies in the country, checks on consumers' financial data ranging from missed credit card payments to unpaid utility bills.

Lenders use Equifax info to determine risks in financing people's mortgages and credit cards.

The Federal Trade Commission has directed concerned consumers to Equifax's website to determine whether their data might have been compromised.

The FTC also has a list of steps consumers can take to protect themselves, such as seeking a credit freeze to prevent others from opening accounts under their names.

With Glenn Blain


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