Arizona attorney general launches investigation into Equifax breach

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined a 32-state bipartisan investigation into the Equifax data breach that could affect over 143 million people. (Source: AP Photo) Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined a 32-state bipartisan investigation into the Equifax data breach that could affect over 143 million people. (Source: AP Photo)
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined a 32-state bipartisan investigation into the Equifax data breach that could affect over 143 million people.

The Attorney General's Office sent a letter to Equifax calling for them to disable links for enrollment in their fee-based credit monitoring service.

"Consumers, who are at absolutely no fault in this situation, should not have to pay for credit monitoring services," said Brnovich in a news release. "We believe continuing to offer consumers a fee-based service in addition to Equifax's free monitoring services will serve to only confuse consumers who are already struggling to make decisions on how to best protect themselves in the wake of this massive breach."

In response to the breach, Equifax began offering a free credit monitoring service but there is concern they are using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to victims, said Brnovich.

On Equifax's homepage, both the fee-based credit monitoring service and the free credit monitoring service is offered, which may be confusing to consumers.

"As soon as this breach was disclosed, my office mobilized and opened an investigation," said Brnovich. "We want to know about the circumstances that led to the breach, the reasons for the months-long delay before public disclosure, and what protections the company had in place at the time of the breach."

Consumers can take steps to protect their data by monitoring their credit reports, bank accounts and credit card statements. In addition, placing a fraud alert on credit reports and reporting suspicious activity immediately can help safeguard your personal information. Lastly, consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - each year.

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint by contacting the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at 602-542-5763 or visit www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

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