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Feb 13, 2018

Tester Demands Government Watchdog Complete Equifax Investigation

Senator Holds Washington Bureaucrats Accountable, Calls for Enforcement

(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester is demanding answers from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding reports that the watchdog agency halted its investigation into last year's Equifax data breach.

Following a cyber-security breach, announced in September 2017, in which cybercriminals gained access to the personal information, including names, Social Security numbers, addresses, driver's licenses, and birthdates of nearly 145.5 million Americans and 367,000 Montanans, the CFPB began investigating Equifax.

"The CFPB has not taken even the most preliminary steps to conduct an investigation," Tester, a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, wrote. "The CFPB has a duty to investigate the harm to consumers and whether other federal consumer financial laws have been violated."

Equifax is a consumer credit reporting agency that collects information on more than 200 million Americans. The breach occurred in June 2017, but was not publicly announced by Equifax until September, while the company promoted products that would charge consumers to protect their data.

Following an apparent halt of the CFPB investigation into Equifax's data breach, Tester sent a list of questions to Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and CFPB Acting Director Leandra English.

"By letting criminals gain access to its databases, Equifax has put nearly half the US population at risk for identity theft and fraud," wrote Tester.

Tester has been fighting since the earliest report of the breach to hold Equifax accountable and ensure Montanans' private information is secure.

In September, Tester joined Montana Attorney General Tim Fox to roll out consumer protection guidelines for Montanans whose data may have been compromised. He also called on Equifax's CEO to testify at the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and answer to the American public. Tester demanded that Equifax detail the specific actions it was taking to ensure that service members weren't victimized any further.

Tester demanded in October 2017 that the IRS withdraw its contracts with Equifax.

Tester's letter is available online HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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