NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nearly half of Americans are facing the threat of identity theft after credit bureau giant Equifax was the victim of a cybersecurity attack.
Related Coverage: Equifax says 143 million Americans Social Security numbers exposed in hack
Social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, names and dates of birth of millions of people now might be in the hands of hackers.
Because of the attack, Equifax is offering free services including credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. Those services appear to come with strings attached.
A WKRN employee is a potential victim of this hack. He noticed in the terms of service for the free screenings, that once you agree, you waive your rights to some legal actions.
The terms of service read in part, “Agreement to resolve all disputes by binding individual arbitration. Please read this entire section carefully because it affects your legal rights by requiring arbitration of disputes (except as set forth below) and a waiver of the ability to bring or participate in a class action, class arbitration, or other representative action. Arbitration provides a quick and cost effective mechanism for resolving disputes, but you should be aware that it also limits your rights to discovery and appeal.”
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was alerted of the stipulation and reacted on Twitter saying, “This language is unacceptable and unenforceable. My staff has already contacted @Equifax to demand that they remove it.”
The best advice? Before you sign up for any service, read the fine print.
Once there, click the tab that says “Potential Impact.”
You’ll be directed to a screen that lists the steps of the process. At the bottom of the page, click the button that says “Check Potential Impact.”
You will then be asked to input your last name and the last 6 digits of your social security number.
You will receive notice if you’ve been impacted and will be given a specific date and time to enroll in the free services, if you chose to do so.