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Equifax Data Breach: Beware of Fake Settlement Websites

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Just last week, we told you to go to ftc.gov/Equifax to find out if your information – like your Social Security number – was exposed in the September 2017 Equifax data breach. At that same website, you can also start a claim for benefits available under the settlement that the FTC and others reached with Equifax.

Wouldn’t you know it? People may have already started putting up fake websites meant to look like the official Equifax settlement claims website. To be sure you’re going to the right place, start at the FTC’s page: ftc.gov/Equifax.

A couple more things to remember. You’ll never have to pay to file a claim for these benefits. And anyone who calls and tries to get you to file a claim is almost certainly a scammer.

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Dear CFCT US Government; Thank you very much for your attention to me. I will trying to be the best in my duty. Please increase protection of my money. Regards. Thank you

I received two text messages on Sunday, July 28th from two different numbers 2675260423 and 8064910112 both indicating Equifax alerts showing that my history was flagged. I have ignored them since I feel they are not legitimate. Both provided websites links as well.

Incredible, the thieves are always waiting for opportunities!

how can the public tell which is authentic and which is fake?

To be sure you’re going to the right place, start at the FTC’s page: ftc.gov/Equifax.

Why should the burden to present an application for monetary reimbursement from Equifax be necessary at all? The company knows who was hacked. It should be fined and the proceeds distributed among the consumers who will ever after have to wait for the other shoe to drop: the bank balance that's slid down, the ransom email from someone holding our data, etc. etc.
Why isn't this 'settlement' more General Data Protection Regulation (EU's GDPR) and less The data gods win again?

Once you send in your application does that release Equifax from any responsibility?

Because if they put it on the consumer/victim to file the claim, that's that many less settlement disbursements they have to pay out. This unfortunately is not a perfect world

Thanks for the double Alert. Will computer ever be fun again? BB

yes I think

Thanks FTC.

As long as we used the “start a claim” from the notification sent last week then are we safe still?

The FTC’s page is FTC.gov/Equifax. That is the link we have been using in our blogs.

Thanks. I find it helpful having this site available to check on questionable activity or to get a clue as to what might be heading my way.

so how do we know we haven't completed a fraudulent form? Is there a way for us to check??

The FTC page is www.FTC.gov/Equifax. You can connect to the settlement website from the FTC page.

Will it ever end? It is difficult enough these days to separate valid providers and websites from fake ones. FTC has been immeasurable help to us to keep things straight. Thank you for all of your help.

Thank you for the information. A suggestion: it would be helpful if the website would provide a confirmation email with the claim number afterwards. I felt like I must not have been on the correct website when I didn't receive a confirmation email that my claim was completed and received. In my opinion, this makes it appear like a scammer page. I also noticed that when I walked away from my laptop and then checked the tab again with the last page containing the claim number on it, the page had disappeared and I no longer had my claim number because I didn't jot it down. I felt like that made it appear as though it was a scammer page as well.

I feel the same way. I actually came here looking for information on whether or not I should have received a confirmation email. Just a simple automated response would have been helpful and reassuring. As things stand now, I have no idea whether or not my claim was actually received.

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.

Worries me that the website asks for the last 6 digits of our social security number. Since the first 3 digits are based on the geographic location where we received our numbers, they are easy to guess if you know the person, so I don't feel safe giving out the rest.

Judy - I absolutely agree with you - I can not believe that because of a breach they want us to furnish them with six of the nine. Real DUMB way of doing things - I hesitate to give the last 4 but they want 6. No

I felt the same way about the last 6. I talked to my bank and she assured me that the site came from the FTC. I told her I was still very weary.

How can we entrust Equifax with restoring our data security and safeguarding it into the future after it was the offending entity? This isn't a rhetorical question.

Any scam call I identify as such is met with my whistle next to my phone. This gives me a sense of satisfaction. They want to steal my money, they get an earful instead. I have no pity for them.

Isn't there a way to catch these peoples IP address? How can they be smarter then a federal agency's computer experts?

Thanks for the update !

This is too scary, don't know who to trust!

I just hope that those of us who file a claim for the Equifax problem and soon to need to fill Capitol One/Transunion thief/hack get constant feedback on the process and we don't have to self-followup throughout the claim process.

Tankyou

There are so many scams going on. Too many for these types of sites to keep up with. So many people, including me, are joining forces. Working together to rid this old world of ours these scammers one baby step at a time. If you get a call that will not hang up, the call will disconnect in a few seconds or you can answer & hang up quickly to end that call. If you call yourself, please do not get curious & answer it. It's another scam.

!! FTC READ!!

In order to stop these scams, companies should be forced to use their official domains and not make up these weird domains to handle claims.

My gf’s daughter went on a site that looked very official... BUT they asked for her social. Talk about insult to injury ! Now will have to use the credit monitoring.

I agree whole-heartedly with test-hack-dummy. Why is the consumer being tasked with filing a claim; once again supplying a website with our personal data and not totally sure we're even on the correct site? Equifax has the list of all affected. It should be mandatory that they AUTOMATICALLY take steps to correct any issues and PAY everyone on the list!

I recently received an extortion attempt as a result of the Blue Cross hack almost a decade ago. I agree there should be compensation even though there has not yet been a consequence. The consequence is that all are compromised indefinitely.

sO IS THERE A NEW PLACE TO GO FOR THIS?

How do I know the site I'm on right now isn't a scam?

Equifax is offering a cash payment or up to 10 years of free credit monitoring to people affected by the breach.

The FTC is now warning that many people may get "nowhere near" the full $125 amount and they are encouraging consumers to think about opting for the free credit monitoring option instead.

Where is the option for free credit monitoring instead ? The information above should be made clear.

 Go to ftc.gov/Equifax to find out if your information was exposed in the September 2017 Equifax data breach. At that same website, you can also start a claim for benefits, such as credit monitoring, available under the settlement that the FTC and others reached with Equifax.

I just received an e-mail. Looks like a scam!

Your Equifax Claim: You Must Act by October 15, 2019 or Your Claim for Alternative Compensation Will Be Denied
Your Claim Number: PVLxxxxxx
According to our records, you filed a claim for alternative compensation of up to $125 in connection with the Equifax data breach settlement and certified on the claim form that you had some form of credit monitoring or protection in place and will continue to have the credit monitoring in place for a minimum of six months from the date of your claim filing.
You must either verify or amend your claim by October 15, 2019.

If you do not, your claim for alternative compensation will be denied. To verify your claim for alternative compensation, you must provide the name of your credit monitoring service that you had in place when you filed your claim. - OR - You can amend your claim to request free credit monitoring instead of alternative compensation. The easiest way to verify or amend your claim is by visiting the official Settlement Website here.

The amount you receive in connection with your alternative compensation claim may be significantly reduced depending on how many valid claims are ultimately submitted by other class members for this relief. Based on the number of potentially valid claims that have been submitted to date, payments of these benefits likely will be substantially lowered and will be distributed on a proportional basis if the settlement becomes final. Depending on the number of valid claims that are filed, the amount you receive for alternative compensation may be a small percentage of your initial claim.

Please note that if you do not take action by October 15, 2019, your claim for alternative compensation will be denied.

You can also verify or amend your claim by sending us a letter stating either the name of the credit monitoring service you had in place when you filed your claim or that you wish to amend your claim to select credit monitoring instead. Please include your full name, claim number from the top of this email, and zip code to the address below: In re Equifax Data Breach Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration; PO Box 91318; Seattle, WA; 98111-9418
Further information about your rights and options, including the right to exclude yourself from the settlement, is available at www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com. This email is from the Court-appointed settlement administrator, not Equifax. Please do not contact Equifax with questions. To contact the settlement administrator, click here.

If you filed a claim before August 2, 2019, and asked for a cash payment of up to $125, you'll get an email that says you have to take steps to get your benefits. If you want benefits, follow the instructions in the email. You must:

  • give the name of the credit monitoring service you had when you asked for the cash payment OR
  • change your claim to ask for credit monitoring instead of the cash payment

You must verify your credit monitoring service or amend your claim before October 15, 2019, or your claim may be denied.

Get more information about the settlement at www.FTC.gov/Equifax or www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.

You stated there was a fee to file a claim. Do you know how much that is? I would like to know before exposing myself to the risk. Thank You!

No, there is not a fee to file a claim.

You will never have to pay to file a claim for the benefits related to the Equifax breach. Anyone who tries to get you to pay to file a claim is probably a scammer.

I used this website to file a claim; is it legitimate?
[web address removed for safety reasons]

To be safe, if you want to file a claim, go to www.FTC.gov/Equifax and click on the button at the top of the page that says "File a Claim." It will take you to the settlement website: www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.

I had received a letter in the mail on Thursday from Marcus by Goldman Sachs and I have never heard of them before. I have never, in my life asked for any loans. I seriously don't know how anyone got my information, but I don't appreciate it! I am calling this as a fraud! I have never heard of these two places before and I truly don't know where they are. I wouldn't know how to look them up before I had gotten their name.

250-616-1137 SCAM phone number

I don't understand why consumers who file for the 125.00 might get alot less because of the number of consumers whose filing for the 125.00. Equifax should have to pay everyone 125.00 who files for it. Nobody wants equifax to monitor when they can't keep their systems from being hacked, it's not fair!! But I bet it didn't affect the pay of the higher ups in equifax.

I received a very official looking email today from EquifaxBreachSettlement.com. Googled it to see if it was legit and landed here. So glad I did. Now I’ll start the claim from FTC.gov, where I can trust it’s safe and authentic. Wish more could be done to stop the digital predation!!

Equifax sent me a Equifax Data Breach form addressed to someone who doesn't live at my home and whom I don't know. Thinking someone might be using my address as a scam, I called Equifax and was told not to worry about it, they were aware of the issue and that it was a clerical error on their part. How can they be trusted with our sensitive, private information when they can't even get this right?

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