On the night of September 7, 2017, Equifax announced it was the subject of a system “hack” that lasted from mid-May through July, 2017. Equifax is one of the largest credit-reporting agencies in the world. It holds sensitive information belonging to over 140 million individuals. The hackers accessed individuals:
- Social Security numbers;
- Birth dates;
- Addresses; and,
- Driver’s license numbers.
In addition, the hackers also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people, and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people. This hack affected personal information for individuals in America, the UK, and Canada, too.
Senior Equifax executives sold stock worth approximately $1.8 million only days after the company discovered the June 2017 data breach. It is no doubt that these executives feared investigations and lawsuits from the federal government, shareholders, and consumers.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax, to use reasonable measures to protect your personal and sensitive information. As a result of this negligent data breach, Equifax is liable and can be sued by you and other consumers for any harm you may have incurred, such as a loss of credit, or fraudulent credit report entries or applications, due to the data breach.
Equifax’s Flawed Solution
In an attempt to remedy this data breach, and ease consumer’s minds, Equifax is attempting to lure consumers into submitting their personal information to them again, to verify whether their information was released. However, consumers should be warned that the terms and conditions suggesting that you agree to submit any legal claim or lawsuit against Equifax to arbitration – a venue known to disadvantage consumers.
Alternatives to Equifax’s Flawed Solution
Equifax is, once again, showing consumers that corporations are not to be trusted with your good intentions. As opposed to helping consumers, they are merely attempting to insulate themselves from further legal action. Don’t fall prey to their attempts.
But what can be done to protect yourself from this, and other large corporate data breaches?
- Check your credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – for free – by visiting one of the available online resources, such as annualcreditreport.com. Credit accounts or activity that you don’t recognize may indicate fraudulent activity. You can visit IdentityTheft.gov to find out more.
- Consider placing a “freeze” on your credit files. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. However, a credit freeze is limited to what it can do, and will not prevent a hacker or thief from making changes to your current accounts.
- Monitor your existing credit card and bank accounts closely for charges you don’t recognize.
- Consider placing a “fraud alert” on your credit files. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim, and that they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name is really you.
- Contact a credit fraud lawyer who can investigate any potential fraud activity and recover on your behalf. Aaron Jophlin and The Jophlin Law Firm have experience helping individuals recover after a large corporation is negligent with their personal information. Call 833-JOPHLIN or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your claim with a data breach attorney.
In the blink of an eye your entire life can change. Sometimes a car wreck is a minor inconvenience with minimal damage and injuries – other times it can be catastrophic that leads to catastrophic injury and, sometimes, death. Fear, anxiety, confusion – these are all common emotions after even a minor wreck, in addition to the realization of vehicle and property damage, auto accident related injuries, and impending insurance headaches. If you were injured by someone else in a motor vehicle accident, obtaining the skills and experience of an experienced car accident lawyer can greatly help alleviate some of this stress.
Initially after a car accident, it is important to remember to never leave the scene of an accident, as doing so can result in having your driving privileges revoked or your license suspended. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles recommends stopping without obstructing traffic, and safely provide immediate assistance to other motorists, if possible.
DO NOT admit liability to anyone on the scene, and limit discussion about the facts of the accident to the limited questions that law enforcement may ask. However, there is certain information that you are required to provide to the other parties involved, as are all of the drivers, passengers, or pedestrians involved in the auto accident. This information includes:
- Name, address, and contact details of the drivers, passengers, and owners of the vehicles involved;
- Drivers’ license number;
- License plate numbers of the vehicles involved; and,
- Auto insurance information for the motorists involved.
Other relevant information to obtain includes:
- Name, address, and telephone number of witnesses;
- Location of the auto accident;
- Description of any known or suspected injuries, and damages to vehicles and property;
- The names of any law enforcement personnel that may respond to the scene;
- Names of anyone who claimed responsibility for the accident;
- Any observations you made after the accident, including any appearance that someone may be under the influence; and,
- Photos of the car accident, vehicles, and injuries.
If you have experienced any type of vehicle damage, or accident related injury of any severity, contact your local law authority so that a report may be generated and ask to be transported to your local hospital for evaluation. It is important to be seen and evaluated by medical personnel soon after your accident because sometimes “soft tissue” injuries may take a few days to present symptoms. Delays in medical care and treatment can often be problematic to a potential claim or car accident lawsuit.
Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident. An experienced car accident attorney can help evaluate the details of your accident and injury to determine the potential for a claim or lawsuit. Write down a list of questions and concerns that you may have for your potential lawyer so that you are comfortable with any prospective relationship. Aaron Jophlin and The Jophlin Law Firm are experienced car accident lawyers in Georgetown, South Carolina, and offer a free consultation to meet with you and your loved ones to evaluate your car accident.
Call 833-JOPHLIN or email email@example.com to schedule a no fee, free consultation with The Jophlin Law Firm.Read More
The benefits of a Boutique Law Firm
There are a lot of attorneys and law firms out there, spanning from solo law practices to international law firms with hundreds of attorneys. While most of these attorneys will offer expertise in their fields, what is the draw to a solo boutique firm like The Jophlin Law Firm?
As an analogy, imagine purchasing a new kitchen appliance. You have a couple of choices of where to purchase: a big box national chain store, online retailer, or your local “Mom & Pop” retailer in your town. While the prices may be substantially the same, there is one big difference between them all: personalization. While the sales associate at the big box store may be nice, who is going to be there when you have questions or concerns about the product? Who is going to respond the quickest when you have a problem? Most certainly your local retailer! They know you, they know your family, you may even see them at church on Sundays. They have a localized, vested interest to make sure you are happy because your “word of mouth” referrals are important to them.
The same premise holds true for law firms. While experience and end result may be similar, there is a world of difference you can expect from a local boutique law firm like The Jophlin Law Firm, versus the impersonal structure of large firms. You’re not just a file number to us – you are our client and neighbor. When you call, we want to know how you are doing, how your holidays were, and what we can help you with – it doesn’t just have to be about your case! When you are a client of The Jophlin Law Firm you aren’t just a file number – you’re our neighbor. If you have a problem, give us a call so that we can do our job: helping you anyway we can.Read More