Update to the Equifax Data Breach Settlement (this post was updated on 8.14.19)
Due to the overwhelming response to the Equifax Settlement Claim, those who opt for the $125 cash settlement may only receive a small portion. Instead, you might be better served by choosing the free credit monitoring. Robert Schoshinski, Assistant Director, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection of the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), had this to say on his July 31, 2019 FTC blog post:
So, if you haven’t submitted your claim yet, think about opting for the free credit monitoring instead. Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more – the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year. And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already, because it monitors your credit report at all three nationwide credit reporting agencies, and it comes with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and individualized identity restoration services.
You can read more from the July 31st FTC blog post, “Equifax data breach: Pick free credit monitoring”, about what to do if you have already submitted a claim for the cash payment.
A 90-second read by the Baron Team: If you were impacted by the September 2017 Equifax Data Breach, where hackers broke into the Equifax database and stole personal information tied to 147 million people, you may be entitled to a settlement. According to the Equifax Data Breach Settlement website:
“A federal court is considering a proposed class action settlement submitted on July 22, 2019, that, if approved by the Court, would resolve lawsuits brought by consumers after the data breach.
What Can You Do?
If you are a class member, you can use the Equifax Data Breach Settlement website to file a claim for benefits (see below). You must first submit a form to check your eligibility to file a claim. Equifax will inform you if your personal information was impacted and if you are a class member. You can submit a claim online or request a hard copy claim.
Important Information to Note: the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is warning consumers to “beware of fake websites claiming to be the Equifax settlement claims website. To be sure you are going to the legitimate site, you can access it from the @ftc’s Equifax page: http://ftc.gov/Equifax”.In addition, be aware that you will never have to pay to file a claim and anyone who is calling to get you to file a claim is most likely a scam artist.
None of the following benefits will be distributed or available until the settlement is finally approved by the Court:
Free Credit Monitoring or $125 Cash Payment. You can get free credit monitoring services. Or, if you already have credit monitoring services, you can request a $125 cash payment.
- At least 4 years of three-bureau credit monitoring, offered through Experian. You can also get up to 6 more years of free one-bureau credit monitoring through Equifax.
- If you already have credit monitoring services that will continue for at least 6 more months, you may be eligible for a cash payment of $125.
Other Cash Payments. You may also be eligible for the following cash payments up to $20,000 for:
- the time you spent remedying fraud, identity theft, or other misuse of your personal information caused by the data breach, or purchasing credit monitoring or freezing credit reports, up to 20 total hours at $25 per hour.
- out-of-pocket losses resulting from the data breach.
- up to 25% of the cost of Equifax credit or identity monitoring products you paid for in the year before the data breach announcement.
Free Identity Restoration Services: You are eligible for at least 7 years of free assisted identity restoration services to help you remedy the effects of identity theft and fraud.