Just last week, the FTC and others reached a settlement with Equifax about its September 2017 data breach that exposed personal information of 147 million people. We’ve told you to go to ftc.gov/Equifax, where you can find out if your information was exposed and learn how to file a claim with the company in charge of the claims process.
The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming, and we’re delighted that millions of people have visited ftc.gov/Equifax and gone on to the settlement website’s claims form.
But there’s a downside to this unexpected number of claims. First, though, the good: all 147 million people can ask for and get free credit monitoring. There’s also the option for people who certify that they already have credit monitoring to claim up to $125 instead. But the pot of money that pays for that part of the settlement is $31 million. A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed.
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.
For those who have already submitted claims for this cash payment, look for an email from the settlement administrator. They’ll be asking you for the name of the credit monitoring service you already have. Or, if you want to change your mind, you’ll have a chance to switch to the free credit monitoring. The email from the settlement administrator will tell you what to do next, in either case. And the settlement administrator has said that the claims website will soon be updated with that information, too.
Please also note that there is still money available under the settlement to reimburse people for what they paid out of their pocket to recover from the breach. Say you had to pay for your own credit freezes after the breach, or you hired someone to help you deal with identity theft. The settlement has a larger pool of money for just those people. If you’re one of them, use your documents to submit your claim.
This blog post was clarified on August 1, 2019.
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In reply to Really? Really? Really! by comhcinc
FAQ #8 states that Settlement Class Members may submit a claim to enroll in at least four years of three-bureau credit monitoring services, provided by Experian, at no cost. Go to www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com to learn more.
In reply to please clarify which Experian by ptb
Read the FAQ on the settlement website (www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com) for information about the credit monitoring.
In reply to I chose the free credit by Tebbe
Frequently Asked Question #19 on the settlement website (www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com) says if you make a valid claim for credit monitoring services, the Settlement Administrator will send you information about how to activate your credit monitoring after the settlement is final. The earliest the settlement will be final is January 23, 2020.
The Settlement Administrator will send you an activation code and link to the Experian website. You can enroll and activate your credit monitoring services on the Experian website.
If you enroll in three-bureau credit monitoring services from Experian, you can also choose to enroll in up to six years of one-bureau credit monitoring services from Equifax that would start after the Experian services end. You must choose the one-bureau Equifax services when you make your claim for credit monitoring services. If you choose to get the Equifax services after the three-bureau services end, you will get instructions for how to enroll in the one-bureau Equifax services before the three-bureau services end.
In reply to That is not right what about by MzJuicy
The FTC information at www.FTC.gov/Equifax explains that if your information was exposed in the Equifax breach, you can file a claim for cash payments for expenses you paid as a result of the breach and time you spent dealing with the breach.
You can file a claim for expenses like the cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report and the cost of credit monitoring. Your claim for the cost of Equifax credit monitoring and related services you had between September 7, 2016, and September 7, 2017, is capped at 25 percent of the total amount you paid. Learn more at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.
In reply to Why would any American by Jaran
Under the settlement, you can request four years of free, three-bureau credit monitoring from Experian.
Equifax will pay $300 million into a fund that will pay Experian to provide the four years of three-bureau credit monitoring services. If you request four years of Experian monitoring, you can also request six additional years of one-bureau monitoring by Equifax. There are other benefits for people whose information was exposed in the breach. Learn more at www.FTC.gov/Equifax and www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.
In reply to How can I request that by Chris
In reply to They reply yo every post but by Alexander
Two federal laws cover different aspects of how companies can share your financial information: the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). Read the FTC article Privacy Choices for Your Personal Financial Information to learn what you can do about information sharing.
In reply to Where can I get more by More info
The settlement website is www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.
Go to the FAQs (frequently asked questions) to learn about the identity theft insurance (FAQ #8) and free identity restoration services (FAQ #11).
The settlement website also has a link to important documents, including the full settlement agreement.
In reply to The settlement website is www by FTC Staff
In reply to Bridget, when will everyone by Obligation to …
If you don't know if you were affected by the 2017 Equifax breach, use this look-up tool to see if your information was exposed. If you were affected, learn more about what you could claim at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.
In reply to If you don't know if you were by FTC Staff
In reply to As my choice of option for by KC
Frequently Asked Question #19 on the settlement website www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com says if you make a valid claim for credit monitoring services, the Settlement Administrator will send you information about how to activate your credit monitoring after the settlement is final. The settlement will be final on January 23, 2020 at the earliest.
The Settlement Administrator will provide you with an activation code and link to the Experian website where you can enroll and activate your credit monitoring services.
In reply to I prefer not to use Equifax by Owen
FAQ #8 on the settlement website www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com says settlement class members may submit a claim to enroll in at least four years of three-bureau credit monitoring services, provided by Experian, at no cost. Go to www.FTC.gov/Equifax to learn what benefits an affected person can file a claim for, including:
- free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services
- cash payments capped at $20,000 per person for expenses you paid as a result of the breach and time you spent dealing with the breach
In reply to Where is the rest of the 700 by Gpol42
Read the FTC press release for details about the proposed settlement agreement, including:
- Equifax Inc. agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, as part of a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and 50 U.S. states and territories
- As part of the proposed settlement, Equifax will pay $300 million to a fund that will provide affected consumers with credit monitoring services. The fund will also compensate consumers who bought credit or identity monitoring services from Equifax and paid other out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the 2017 data breach. Equifax will add up to $125 million to the fund if the initial payment is not enough to compensate consumers for their losses
- The company also has agreed to pay $175 million to 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, as well as $100 million to the CFPB in civil penalties.