Investigation into Equifax data breach launched by financial regulator

24 October 2017
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Equifax customers may be pleased to hear the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finally decided to step in and investigate the recent security breach at the credit rating agency.

In September, Moneywise reported how 400,000 UK customers were to be contacted by Equifax due to a serious breach in its security, and a potential loss of data. 

However, the financial regulator has announced that it now intends to investigate the circumstances surrounding the data breach, due what it describes as a “public interest” in the matter.

In a statement published today, the FCA wrote: “The FCA announces today [24 October 2017] that it is investigating the circumstances surrounding a cybersecurity incident that led to the loss of UK customer data held by Equifax Ltd on the servers of its US parent. This statement is made given the public interest in these matters.”

A spokesperson from Equifax commented: “Equifax Ltd is already working closely with the FCA and other authorities: we welcome this opportunity to learn the lessons from this criminal cyber-attack in order for all businesses to better protect consumers in the future.

“Cybercrime is a real and ever-present risk faced by all companies, so it is important that Government, regulators and businesses work together to combat this growing threat. We see today’s announcement as a continuation of that process.”

Nicky Morgan MP, chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, adds: “Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK have been affected by the Equifax data breach.

“The FCA is right to investigate the circumstances surrounding it.

“The Treasury Committee will examine this further when it takes evidence from the FCA on 31 October.”

Stay vigilant

If you’re worried you’ve been a victim of a security breach, get a copy of your credit report as it is one of the first places you can spot if someone is misusing your personal information.

Review every entry on your credit file and if you see an account or even a credit search from a company that you do not recognise, notify the credit reference agency.

Also keep an eye on your credit card and bank account statements for unusual activity.

If you think you’ve been scammed, report the fraud as soon as possible to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk. You should also notify your bank or card provider immediately if you detect fraudulent transactions.

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