A jury in California last week awarded $60 million in statutory and punitive damages to more than 8,000 consumers who sued TransUnion, one of the three credit reporting agencies.
The consumers filed the class action, claiming that TransUnion violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it misidentified them in their credit reports as terrorists and drug traffickers. It turns out the real bad guys had names that were similar to the plaintiffs in the case.
The plaintiffs will each receive more than $7,300 as their share of the award, after they were wrongly identified in their credit reports as being engaged in criminal activity.
The FCRA requires credit reporting agencies to ensure that the information contained in consumers’ credit reports is as accurate as possible. The law is intended to protect consumers from misinformation being used against them.