Democrats on House panel urge Equifax to extend protections

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic lawmakers are asking the credit-monitoring company Equifax Inc. to provide free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for at least three years.

Equifax has offered up to one year of complementary protections after a massive data breach last year compromised personal information for about 145 million Americans.

The Democratic members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee argue that identity thieves often wait much longer to act on stolen information.

The company replied in a statement to The Associated Press that it has launched a service that allows consumers to lock or unlock their credit file with the company. The service is free and there is no time limit. The lock can be done online and prevents access to the credit file by certain third parties.

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