HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Equifax is facing at least 23 class-action lawsuits following a massive data breach. The suits come less than a week after the credit bureau company revealed that the personal information of 143 million people was compromised.
Experts indicate that means that the Social Security Numbers, credit card information, and addresses of nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers could be for sale on the dark web.
"That means they've got everything. They've got our home address. They've got our social security numbers. They've got our date of birth, who we are married to if we are, who our kids are and where we live," explained Huntsville attorney Eric Artrip.
At least three Alabama attorneys have filed separate class-action lawsuits against Equifax. Artrip was the first to file suit in the Northern District of Alabama.
Artrip filed a class action lawsuit against Equifax on September 8. He said the information that was compromised during the cyber-attack is a gold mine for identity thieves "They really have everything necessary, if somebody were to steal that, to go out and get a credit card or loan in our name," he said.
The Huntsville based attorney currently represents 11 people in 11 different states.
Artrip said what's particularly frustrating for consumers is that it appears Equifax knew about the breach long before announcing it.
"What we are alleging is that Equifax did not take precautions to protect peoples private information. We are also alleging that they knew about it, and held that information for weeks or even maybe months," Artrip explained.
To find out if you're at risk, check Equifax's website.
"The best thing you can do is to check your credit reports with some regularity. That's the number one thing you can do. You can also hire one of these credit reporting agencies. I have one personally. What they do is they take a snap shot of your credit as it appears right now, today. If there are any significant changes then they'll contact you," said Atrip.
Artrip said this is just the beginning. He expects more people to join the lawsuit.