Friday, September 29, 2017

The Equifax Hacking Just Keeps Getting Worse



By Daniel Sater – Nationally Recognized Credit Expert and Expert Witness

On September 7th we learned about the hacking of 143,000,000 consumer’s personal credit information. What made it worst is that we learned that it started in mid-May! To make matters even worse, Equifax only discovered the data breach on July 21.

BUT…THERE’S MORE!!
We now know that between the discovery and notifying the public, three executives sold their stock before the stock price dropped. It may be determined that this was an act of insider trading.

Equifax decided to let consumers check to see if their information was part of the hacking. They created a website to check – www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Hackers who have been known to take advantage of things like this created a website of their own – www.securityequifax2017.com. The bigger problem…EQUIFAX STARTED REFERRING PEOPLE TO THE FAKE SITE!

It Gets Better…NOT
It turns out that the hacking started ever earlier. It seems it started in March not in May. All that time, for 4 months, they didn’t even know the hacking was going on.

I would imagine this might be due, in small part, to their head of cyber security who has two degrees…both in music composition! LOL

The CEO of Equifax decided to “retire”, after the Board of Directors told him that his services were no longer needed. He retires with $18,400,000 pension benefits.

A scheduled hearing with congress on the Equifax data breach never happened since Equifax decided not to show up.

What is Congress Doing About This?
The GOP lawmakers are quietly trying to deregulate the credit bureaus despite the hacking. They want to limit class-action lawsuits and limit damage awards to $500,000 and bar and Punitive Damages from being awarded.
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!!

What You Need to Do
 You must be vigilant about your finances.
1.     1 Put a free Fraud Alert on your file at all three credit bureaus
2.     2 Get a free copy of your credit reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com
3.    3 Sign up for the Equifax free one-year monitoring service. (They no longer bar you from lawsuits or being part of a class-action lawsuit.)
4.    4 If you can’t sleep at night…you can put a Credit Freeze on your file. It will cost you to do this at the other two bureaus. And, yes, you need to protect all three bureaus. This will prevent unauthorized pulling of your credit prior to granting credit by a new lender. If you want to apply for credit, you will need to temporally unblock it at a small addition cost for each credit application. You'll need to call each of the credit bureaus -- Equifax (1-800-349-9960), Experian (1‑888‑397‑3742) and TransUnion (1-888-909-8872)

Scammers will be trying to get you to give up your personal information
     They appear to come from trusted sources. Phishing scammers are great mimics and fairly good psychologists.

  • ·         Never fill out and submit forms that appear in the bodies of email messages.

  • ·         Triple-check the address of any website requesting personal information.

  • ·         Beware of requests for information the sender should already have.


If you are a victim of Identity Theft – we can help. We have help many of our clients get back their good names and credit. Call us at 631-465-9565.
Credit Scoring Advisor

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Equifax Announced that 143,000,000 of their Files have been Hacked



This hacking of Equifax can cause serious problems for you. Although this hack was discovered by Equifax July 29th, the actual hacking happened between Mid-May through July this year!
Here is what you should do to protect yourselves from having your credit damaged by these hackers…
1)      Go to www.Equifaxsecurity2017.com to check the potential impact of your files being part of the hack.
2)      Get a free credit report. Federal law guarantees your one free credit report per year from the three major bureaus (yes, including Equifax). Head to this website to get your most-recent credit report and evaluate it to find any malicious activity. Look for unknown accounts, strange addresses reporting and especially review all inquiries. You can go to any other site that gives you a report from all three bureaus.
3)      Set a fraud alert. Anyone can sign up for a free, 90-day fraud alert. The FTC has information on how to do that here. Be sure to list a phone contact number.
4)      Freeze your credit. Credit freezes make it harder for criminals to open credit cards in your name. You'll need to call each of the credit bureaus -- Equifax (1-800-349-9960), Experian (1‑888‑397‑3742) and TransUnion (1-888-909-8872) -- to freeze your credit. Understand that doing this will make it harder for you to apply for credit. If you want to do so you will have to contact the bureaus with your pin number and pay a small fee to unlock your credit.
5)      Pull your credit report once every 6 months to ensure there are not any future problems.
6)      Equifax has offered to sign you up for their monitoring service free for one year. If you do this be aware that you will be forced to go through binding arbitration is you want to sue later and can’t become part of a class action suit. If you want a separate monitoring service, you can use this link to get a $10.00 per month discount on Identity IQ.  http://bit.ly/2pdLvxy   
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At Credit Scoring Advisor we ARE the experts. We specialize in Rapid Credit Repair for our clients. Our founder, Daniel Sater is a Nationally Recognized Credit Expert, Author, Public Speaker, and Educator as well as an Expert Witness on Credit Scoring, Credit Reporting and Credit Damages. In addition, Dan trains and Coaches numerous Credit Repair Companies across the country, he is a Certified C.E. Instructor for the Real Estate Industry for their continuing education credit. Mr. Sater is the Chairman of the Education Committee for NACSO – the trade association for the Credit Repair Industry.  His last book, "The Top 20 Toxic Credit Mistakes" is available on the Credit Scoring Advisor website and Amazon Kindle. He can be reached at 631-465-9565 or by e-mail at dan@CreditScoringAdvisor.com.
Better Knowledge – Better Tactics –Better Results

Friday, August 18, 2017

Has a Company Been Damaging Your Credit Report and Scores?



By Daniel Sater – Nationally Recognized Credit Expert & Credit Expert Witness

In repairing your credit, you may need more that a Credit Repair service. You might be better served by having a Credit Expert Witness on your side as well. It will give you the best of both world. The more tools that a credit expert has in his/her tool belt, the more likely will be your success.

If a creditor, collection agency or the credit bureaus break the law, and then fail to correct the error, they can be brought into court. Having someone who not only knows about credit scoring and credit repair but about the credit damage inaccurate reporting does can be a valuable tool. At this point you need a good Lawyer, and, a Credit Expert Witness.

Tactics Used by the Credit Bureaus
One of the problems in repairing credit is the attitude of the credit bureaus. They will delay investigating your claims as long as they can, to slow down the process, and to make you so discouraged that you will just go away.

They really don’t care if the information reported is wrong and hurting you. As a matter of fact, the credit bureaus benefit from you having a lower credit score than you deserve. You see, they are really a data company. They sell data on groups of people that lenders use to market to consumers. The data and scores they sell tells the lenders what the performance risk of granting loans or extending credit.

If the scores are skewed showing you are a greater risk that you really are, they look good to their subscribers. Lenders price based on the risk of default for a specific group of people. If a consumer has a loan go bad, the lenders make a lot more money. Everyone is happy…except you of course.


Collection Agencies and Lenders aren’t any better.
Some Collection Agencies even fail to do an investigation because it takes time and they can’t be bothered to investigate if the information is accurate or not. I know one owner of a large collection agency who came in on Monday morning and just sent back to the bureaus that everything was verified as correct without checking on anything. As for some lenders, their mindset is, that if it shows in their computer, it has to be correct, and offer little help sometimes in correcting information that is being reported.
 


Having a Credit Expert Witness on Your Side
This is where a Credit Expert Witness comes in. As a Credit Expert Witness, I have helped companies from getting hit with excessive penalties in court, and helped individuals show the damage to their credit that was unjustly caused by companies that failed to report the account correctly. I just recently had a homeowner suffer through eight years of misreporting by a mortgage lender. When the final decision comes down on the damages, I imagine he could see an award of $500,000 to $700,000.

I have seen awards as high as $18,000,000 against a credit bureau causing unnecessary damage to a consumer credit report for over two years of misreporting, having failed to do a proper re-investigation.

Having someone in your corner who is not only a true Credit Expert, but a Credit Expert Witness can greatly benefit you and help your attorney make the best case for damages.
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For more information call or email:
Credit Scoring Advisor Blog – Daniel Sater - Nationally Recognized Credit Expert & Credit Expert Witness
631-465-9565