Equifax Inc. struggled over the weekend with its response to its massive data breach as consumers continued to criticize the credit-reporting company’s efforts and cited ongoing problems with a website set up to help them.
Regulators, meanwhile, are urging consumers to freeze their credit reports, a move some lenders fear could ding credit growth even as the finance industry struggles with the question of how to contain the potential for widespread fraud that could affect millions of Americans.
Despite Equifax’s EFX, -13.66% statement Friday evening that it had cleaned up many of the problems on its website, consumers said they were still receiving erroneous and confusing responses. Some said they made up fake last names and social security numbers and received responses from the site that suggest it didn’t recognize they were fictitious identities.
The issues add to consumer ire over the data breach, which has exposed vital personal identification data — including social security numbers, names, addresses and dates of birth — of potentially as many as 143 million Americans. The hack is second in size to only one that was disclosed by Yahoo last year but potentially the most dangerous to date given the vital gatekeeper role firms such as Equifax play in terms of consumer credit and people’s personal information.
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