Back in 2017, Equifax suffered a massive data breach that compromised 145.5 million American’s and an additional 700,000 UK and Canadians personal data. This data included names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver’s license numbers. This was due to Equifax’s inability to keep up with security patches for their web platform. If you were affected by the breach, Equifax sent you a letter in the mail informing you that you were one of the unlucky affected. Until now, nothing has come of this case. That’s until the FTC reached a settlement with Equifax last month.
Equifax has reached a settlement with the FTC and has agreed to pay $425 Million dollars to help people affected by the data breach. $31 Million of that goes to cash payments of $125 and the rest goes towards attorney fees and credit monitoring services.
If you do the math, you’ll reach the same conclusion we came to. That is, you aren’t going to get nearly as much out of this as they are promising. You probably aren’t getting much at all, in fact the site no longer offers cash unless you certify that you currently have credit monitoring. Remember that 143 million Americans were affected by this breach. If all of them were to claim their $125, the settlement would be closer to $18 Billion.
If you want a couple of bucks from the Equifax Settlement for your troubles, be sure to put down everything you did in reaction to the Equifax breach between September 2017 and now. That includes:
- Applying credit freezes
- Changing passwords
- Reviewing bank statements for fraudulent charges
- Reporting fraudulent charges
Be creative, but don’t lie; you have 10 hours that don’t need any evidence. Anything above 10 hours requires documentation to be submitted for proof of money or time spent. Remember that you won’t get nearly as much as you claim, only a percentage based on everyone else’s claims.
If you want something worth more than a couple bucks, go for the free credit monitoring from all three major credit bureaus for up to 4 years and an additional 6 years for your Equifax report. The credit monitoring has a bigger pool of money and costs Equifax more to maintain. It may seem counter-intuitive to still use their services, but consider this: you are never going to get away from them.
If your kids are under 18, be sure to apply for credit monitoring for them. They are eligible for 18 years of credit monitoring and they will appreciate it when they are old enough to understand.
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