If you recently filed a claim as one of 147 million Americans affected by the Equifax data breach, well surprise, surprise... you've got more hoops to jump through.
If you've already filed a claim for the $125 Equifax cash settlement, be sure to verify your claim here before October 15 or you won't actually receive it. If you haven't yet filed a claim, visit www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com to see if your data was part of the 2017 breach -- and if it was, make sure you file your claim!
Read on for the full scoop:
Back in July, Equifax reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and all 50 states, where they agreed to provide victims of the 2017 breach with free credit monitoring for up to 10 years OR a lump-sum payment of up to $125 (for people who are already subscribed to a credit monitoring service). It's taken a full 2 years to get to this point!
If you recall, there was a massive public response to that cash payment offer. It was all over social media, and while official numbers aren't yet known, hundreds of thousands of people -- maybe even millions -- signed up to get the cash.
Well, Equifax and the FTC clearly got more than they bargained for.
As a result, the FTC warned that consumers may receive "nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed." In fact, they suggest "[y]ou can still choose the cash option on the claim form, but you will be disappointed with the amount you receive and you won’t get the free credit monitoring."
And now, over the weekend, Equifax emailed everyone who filed a claim for the $125 payment, with the subject line: "You Must Act by October 15, 2019 or Your Claim for Alternative Compensation Will Be Denied."
Yes, you read that correctly: Breach victims must still jump through more hoops to receive compensation. And if you fail to respond, you'll get nothing from Equifax -- even if you've already filed a claim for cash.
Equifax hopes folks decide to walk away from the settlement (or just not respond, in effect walking away). But we sure don't.
Here's Confidently's recommendation:
- If you've already filed a claim for the $125 cash settlement, make sure you click here to verify or amend your claim.
- Have your claim number handy (search your email for firstname.lastname@example.org to find it).
- Decide for yourself whether you'd prefer 10 years of credit monitoring or a cash payment. We're honestly torn ourselves. The FTC warns that cash payments will likely fall (far) short of the $125 initially offered, but it's still possible that more funds will be made available to increase the average settlement amount. And 10 years of credit monitoring does have value, if at least for some peace of mind.
- No matter what you decide, make sure you claim something!
- If you haven't yet filed a claim, visit www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com to see if your data was part of the 2017 breach -- and if it was, make sure you file your claim!
Have other thoughts or feedback? Head over to the Confidently Facebook page to leave a comment on our recent Equifax breach post.