Man Says He Can’t Access His Credit Report After Equifax Sent Him Personal Info For Dozens Of Strangers

Image courtesy of (KIRO-TV)

Getting an unexpected surprise in the mail can be fun sometimes — a birthday gift from your grandma or some free electronics — but one Washington man was far from happy to find credit reports in his mailbox that were apparently intended for a bunch of strangers. Even worse, he says he can’t get access to his own report to make sure there aren’t unexpected debts attached to his credit history.

The man tells KIRO-TV that he’d contacted Equifax in an effort to clean up his credit earlier this year, and instead received dozens of envelopes for three days in a row, filled with strangers’ credit reports. Letters attached to the reports informed him that he owed a long list of debts.

“Ten or 15 student loans, 10 houses, many cars; I’m starting to really freak out,” he told the news station.

Then in March, he got another letter from Equifax, saying that the company had “inadvertently mailed” certain consumer information to incorrect individuals. The mixup was due to a “technical error,” the company said, and there had been no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing. The letter also asked for the papers to be returned, which the man sent through his lawyer.

Since then, he says he’s tried to get his credit report from Equifax — you know, just in case those strangers are still haunting his records — but that Equifax hasn’t come through.

“I want everything cleared. I mean, there are hundreds of pages, and each page says I’m responsible for everything. As far as I know, it’s still on my credit,” he said.

KIRO-TV asked the company how it can assure customers that their financial information won’t end up in the hands of strangers, and Equifax replied:

“Earlier this year, a technical error of short duration caused certain consumer information to be released to an isolated number of other individuals. We conducted a full investigation, identified the individuals who had received this information,” including the man who received all those credit reports, “and retrieved it,” Equifax said. “We contacted all impacted consumers to whom the information belonged and have mitigated this situation.”

The man has now hired an attorney to help him file a lawsuit against Equifax, accusing it of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

“We can be pretty sure that whatever procedures they have in place are not reasonable to protect the accuracy of our information,” she said.

*Thanks for the tip, Paul!

Equifax sends Washington man dozens of strangers’ credit reports [KIRO-TV]