Do you remember? The major Equifax security breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million people back in 2017? Well, there has been a resolution to this breach of American’s information and they’re picking up a hefty tab.
Well, there are a few things you should know…
First, the deal calls for Equifax to pay at least $575 million, including $300 million for free credit monitoring services, $175 million to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and $100 million in penalties to the CFPB.
The company could be forced to pay another $125 million if the initial amount is not enough to cover consumers’ losses, bringing the total tab to up to $700 million.
You’re probably wondering, how to do you stake your claim and get compensated?
If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, you can now file a claim for a piece of the settlement.
The official settlement website, www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com, has been posted and is accepting claims.
To confirm you’re eligible to file a claim, enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number on the site or call the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-759-2982.
The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 22, 2020. If you want to be excluded from the settlement, you need to send a written request postmarked no later than Nov. 19.
What’s on the settlement table?
You should know you can get up to 10 years of free credit monitoring of your three credit reports at Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax by an independent third-party service that will be determined by the court.
Or, you can receive $125 if you already have a credit monitoring service and won’t enroll in the free one.
You can also receive reimbursement for any time and money used to deal with an ID theft issue that occurred after the hack. You can get compensated up to $20,000 per person. Here’s what you can get reimbursed for:
- Losses from unauthorized charges on your accounts
- Cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report
- Cost of credit monitoring
- Fees you paid to professionals like an accountant or attorney
- Other expenses like notary fees, document shipping fees and postage, mileage and phone charges
Please note that you may have to supply documentation proving that you are indeed a victim of identity theft in order to be reimbursed.
Let’s talk timeline
You’ve confirmed you’ve been a victim and filed your claim. Now what?
According to the settlement website’s frequently asked questions, it’s expected to take several months or more before credit monitoring services will begin and payments will be made. This will start “after the Court enters a final judgment and the settlement becomes final.”
Beware of Scammers
Unfortunately in tmes like these, there are people lurking in dark corners waiting for the perfect opportunity to take advantage of victims. This situation is no different.
Here’s what the FTC had to say…