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Everything you need to know about making a Group Action Claim against Equifax

claim against Equifax

In September 2018, Equifax was fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office. The ICO’s investigation was carried out under the Data Protection Act 1998 rather than the current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the £500,000 fine is the maximum allowed under the previous legislation.

The fine came after Equifax’s failure to fix a security flaw in one of its online systems resulted in hackers accessing the personal details of millions of people in the UK and US.

But, while the fine is an essential step in ensuring big businesses like Equifax do more to uphold their obligations and keep people safe, it does very little to help those already affected by the breach. As such, anyone who has suffered following the Equifax cyber-attack should be looking to claim compensation.

But, if you were a victim of the Equifax data breach, how should you go about doing this?

In this short guide, our helpful team of online fraud and data protection solicitors have set out everything you need to know about making a Group Action Claim against Equifax.

Who can make a data breach group action claim against Equifax?

Following the data breach, Equifax sent a letter to those affected, informing them that their data was put at risk. The sensitive information exposed includes email addresses, passwords, driving license numbers and phone numbers. Everyone who has received this letter can claim compensation.

However, since the hack was first uncovered, Equifax has admitted that far more people were put at risk than first thought. This includes:

  • The sensitive details of up to 694,000 Brits
  • The passwords and partial credit card details of 15,000 UK customers
  • The personal data of a further 14 million UK users.

If you are in any way concerned, contact Hayes Connor Solicitors and let us know. We will check if you have had your data breached (if the company has not admitted as much already). Once we have established that your data has been violated – and the extent of this failing – we can start the claims procedure on your behalf. Of course, we’ll only do this with your explicit agreement!

Crucially, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t lost out financially as a result of the Equifax hack. Being the victim of a crime can have a significant impact on you mentally and physically. So, if the data breach has caused you stress or anxiety – in a way that could be diagnosed by a psychologist – then the law agrees that you are entitled to compensation.

Why should you join the group action claim against Equifax?

A group action allows people with the same type of claim to bring it together on a collective basis. Group action claims are becoming far more common in the UK. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Strength in numbers. Starting a claim can be frightening, and it’s not unusual for people who have perfectly valid complaints to be put off due to the risks of going up against a large and well-resourced Defendant. Where cases are very similar, group actions can be a powerful tool and can redress the balance
  • Save on legal costs. By joining together, individuals can share the risks and costs of claiming compensation. Legal advice is also shared, so not everyone in the action needs to pay for their own solicitor
  • Help victims with smaller claims. Group actions provide a way for people with more modest cases (that may not justify legal fees) to claim the compensation they deserve. Often, solicitors will agree to take such cases on a no-win no-fee basis
  • You might not have to go to court. Usually, a Test Case is started, and common issues are tried. The result of this case is then used as a precedent for other cases in the action; so every single claim doesn’t have to be taken to court.

However, just because a case is part of a group action, this doesn’t mean that everyone will get the same amount of compensation if successful. All claims within a group action are still settled based on their merits, and victims will receive what they are owed.

We believe that a Group Action Claim against Equifax is the best way to seek compensation.

Find out more about group actions.

How much does it cost to join the Equifax group action?

We are dealing with these claims on a No-Win, No-Fee basis. This means that, if your claim is not successful, you won’t have to pay a penny. If you win, your costs won’t exceed 25% of the compensation awarded to you. These costs are fully explained in the initial paperwork we send you when you register. There are no hidden charges or other administration fees.

How much compensation can you expect following the Equifax data breach?

We cannot say that you will definitely get compensation, but a group action helps to strengthen your chances. We believe Equifax has breached people’s data and needs to be held responsible by compensating for any losses, distress and inconvenience caused. While each case is different, it is expected that each person will be able to claim up to £2,500 (possibly even more for people who have had their financial data stolen).

What should you do now?

To become part of the Equifax group action, you will need to register with Hayes Connor Solicitors. Doing this guarantees that you will form part of the compensation claims that will be lodged by the firm. We will keep your details (securely of course) and help you get the compensation you deserve.

Once you have registered with us, it’s important to keep a ‘diary’ or note of events since the hack. This will help us with your case.

For example:

  • Has your card been used without permission?
  • Are there transactions that you bank has picked up that you haven’t made?
  • Are you getting more ‘spam’ or junk email with your name on it? If so, create a folder and keep it as this may be relevant
  • Are you anxious or worried by the thought of people being able to access your data? Has this caused you any distress?

We have already received an influx of queries from people whose data was put at risk by the credit reference agency. If you were affected, you could be entitled to up to several thousand pounds, so it’s important to act now.

Register your details here.

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