BIDDEFORD, Maine – A woman in Maine says she requested her credit report from Equifax, but got a lot more than she bargained for in return.
Instead, she received hundreds of credit reports belonging to people around the country.
“You have to see it to believe it,” Katie Manning said.
Manning was shocked to see more than 300 pieces of mail waiting for her on Monday night.
Every single piece was from the credit reporting company Equifax, which is one of three credit bureaus responsible for keeping track of all your personal and private information.
“I checked my credit report the other day online with Equifax and that was it. Next thing I know, I have 300 pieces of mail sitting in my mailbox,” she said.
In fact, every single one of the letters is addressed to her, but they are other people’s credit reports.
“This one is not mine,” she said.
Names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, current and previous addresses, along with bank and loan account numbers are stacked up on her kitchen table.
“I’m not supposed to have this information. This is unbelievable. Somebody has messed up,”
Equifax officials said security and forensics teams will be working to figure out how this happened.
At this point, they say they do not know if it is a widespread problem.
“On the financial side, there’s damage that would involve establishing, setting up a new account, getting a loan in someone’s name. All of those require a Social Security number,” Jane Carpenter, an identity theft expert, said.
Carpenter says with that information, a thief could steal tax refunds and medical information.
“If I have this much information on somebody, where is mine? Who has mine?” said Manning.
The Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection now has all of the mis-mailed credit reports and has launched an investigation.