In September, 2017, Equifax Inc. announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. The company has filed a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Equifax has agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million to those affected. You might be eligible for a piece of the settlement.
To start, you can see if you were affected by the breach at this link. You can also call the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-833-759-2982.
If you were affected, you are eligible for compensation. Settlement Class Members may submit a claim to enroll in at least four (4) years of three-bureau credit monitoring services, provided by Experian, at no cost. These services include the following features:
- Three-bureau credit monitoring providing notice of changes to your credit report at all three national credit bureaus;
- Up to $1 million dollars in insurance covering costs related to identity theft or fraud;
- Real-time notification of credit inquiries and other notifications;
On-demand online access to a free copy of one-bureau credit report, updated on a monthly basis;
- CyberAgent® Dark Web Monitoring that monitors internet activity for the trading or selling of your personal information;
- Customer support provided by Experian; and
- Many other features described here.
As an alternative, you can choose the Cash Alternative Reimbursement Compensation: If you already have some other kind of credit monitoring or protection services, and do not claim the free Credit Monitoring Services available through the settlement, you may file a claim for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation for up to $125.
You should be able to claim this alternative compensation even if you use free credit monitoring services like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, and Experian’s app.
Additional claims can be made for time spent monitoring your credit since the breach and if you suffered losses due to identity theft.
I was affected by the breach but my wife was not. I elected to put in a claim for the Alternative Reimbursement Compensation of $125. In addition, I claimed 1 hour of time lost around the time of the breach announcement as I more actively monitored my credit reports during that period.