On September 29, weeks after Equifax admitted to having lost the most sensitive financial and personal information of 143,000,000 Americans (but a week before Equifax admitted that the total was actually 145,500,000) (and counting), the IRS awarded the company a no-bid contract for $7,250,000 to verify taxpayer identities and curtail fraud.
Yes, prevent fraud. That's a funny thing, considering, according to Equifax's own ex-CEO Richard Smith, the company failed to identity for four months the fact that hackers were hanging out inside its systems, syphoning personal information for millions of consumers.
Of course, the type of fraud Equifax will be charged with preventing under the IRS contract is different — mainly dealing with detecting when a person is using someone else's information to file a tax return.
Still, that type of fraud could be tied to Equifax. After all, with millions of consumers' personal information now up for grabs thanks to the company's breach, it wouldn't be entirely surprising if someone bought that data and used it to file a fraudulent tax return.
IRS Awards $7.25M Fraud-Prevention Contract To Equifax Despite Failure To Secure Consumers' Data [Ashlee Kieler/Consumerist]