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Equifax Data Breach Settlement: What You Should Know

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In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. Under a settlement filed today, Equifax agreed to spend up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach. If you were affected by the Equifax breach, you can't file a claim just yet. That's coming. But you can sign up for FTC email alerts about the settlement at ftc.gov/Equifax.

(Not sure that you were affected? The breach claims site will have a tool to let you check. Sign up for an FTC email update to find out when that tool is up and running.)

ftc.gov/equifax

Here’s what you need to know about the settlement.

Benefits Available To You

If you were affected by the breach, you may be eligible for benefits.

1. Free Credit Monitoring or Cash Payment

You can get at least 4 years of free credit monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). On top of that, you can get up to 6 more years of free credit monitoring of your Equifax credit report. That’s a total of 10 years of free credit monitoring. (Minors affected by the breach are eligible for even more free credit monitoring.)

If you have credit monitoring that will continue for at least 6 months and you decide not to enroll in the free credit monitoring offered in the settlement, you may be eligible for a cash payment. The amount you’d get will depend on the number of claims filed.

2. Reimbursement for Your Time and Other Cash Payments

You may be eligible for reimbursement and cash payments up to $20,000 for:

  • time you spent protecting your identity or recovering from identity theft, up to 20 hours at $25 per hour
  • money you spent protecting your identity or recovering from identity theft, like the cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report or unauthorized charges to your accounts
  • up to 25% of the cost of Equifax credit monitoring or identity protection products you bought between September 7, 2016 and September 7, 2017

3. Free Identity Restoration Services

You are eligible for free identity restoration services for at least 7 years that you can use if someone steals your identity or you experience fraud.

Next Steps

The claims process will start after court approval. To learn more about the settlement, go to ftc.gov/Equifax. We’ll update that page when there’s new information.

You can also sign up to get FTC email updates about this settlement.

If you were affected by the breach, you may also receive an email notification after the court approves the settlement. The notification will provide more information about the settlement, the benefits available to people impacted, and how to request the services offered under the settlement.

ftc.gov/equifax

This blog post was updated on August 1, 2019.

Comments

Is there any way to find out what personal info was exposed in the breach?

According to the website Im on the list, I filed my claim I hope I pucked the correct option, will i be notified if something is incorrect or anything?

Why are you not informing people more about how to dispute the settlement and/or opt-out options? It feels like your forcing people to take accept this settlement without informing everyone of all their options,

This blog names the FTC information page: www.FTC.gov/Equifax. Go there for:

  • questions and answers about the settlement
  • detailed information about the benefits an affected person may claim
  • link to the look up tool to see if your information was affected
  • link to the settlement website
  • links to consumer information about the settlement & credit freezes
  • links to related news

I filed for credit monitoring last week and have not received an email detailing how to set this up. I did receive a claim number. How long does it take before I should receive information??

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 Administrator will send you an activation code and link to the Experian website where you can enroll and activate your credit monitoring services. The settlement will be final on January 23, 2020 at the earliest.

If I select the free credit monitoring, when will that monitoring start?

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 Administrator will send you an activation code and link to the Experian website where you can enroll and activate your credit monitoring services. The settlement will be final on January 23, 2020 at the earliest.

Once we have applied for the refund due to money and time spent recovering from identity theft, how can and where do we check the status of when the check will be approved or mailed?

The settlement administrator will not send out any benefits until the court allows it. That will be on January 23, 2020, at the earliest. The FTC has information and updates at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

They are not responding about providing my claim number

I chose a cash payment in June/July. When are we supposed to receive it?

The settlement administrator will not send out any benefits until the court allows it. That will be on January 23, 2020, at the earliest. The FTC has information and updates at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

I received an email from Equifax Breach Settlement Administrator <info@equifaxbreachsettlement.com>. Is this legit? How did they get my email address?

If you were affected by the breach, you may get an email letting you know that you''re eligible to apply for benefits. The email provides details about the settlement. If you aren't sure the email is legitimate, go to the www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com to  see if you are affected by the breach. You can file a claim at that site.

If you filed a claim before August 2, 2019, and asked for the alternative compensation of up to $125, you will get an email saying you have to take steps to get your benefits. Follow the instructions in the email. You must amend or verify your claim before October 15, 2019, or your claim will be denied.

Equifax contacted me as a person who is eligible for cash compensation. When I followed their links to finish the application the site told me I could not get any cash compensation unless I was currently enrolled in a credit monitoring program for at least the next six months, naming which company (listing the big three).

This was a bait-and-switch from what I was told previously. Can you offer any advice on this issue? Seems like avoidance behavior to me, since I do not currently have a credit monitoring program. That means I have to purchase that service before receiving the compensation that I am eligible

FAQ # 10 on the settlement website says that people who have credit monitoring, and who don't claim the free credit monitoring, can file a claim for up to $125. When they file a claim, they have to certify that they have credit monitoring, give the company name, and certify that they'll keep the services for at least six months.

Hi - I'm curious about the "look up" page. I went to put in the information required, but was a little leery to see if this was legit with ever other scam. So I input my last name, but a fake six digits ss# and it came up still saying I was effective. So now I'm really confused on what to think. Could someone clarified this situation for me?

Thanks

How is it possiable that my child’s SS number is breached when they were born 2 years after the breach?

I have already filed a Claim for a Cash Settlement. I just received an email from:
Equifax Breach Settlement Administrator <info @ equifaxbreach settlement. com>
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. Email Disclaimer

SHOULD I RESPOND? I DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS FAKE?

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.

Has anyone received their check?

You'll have to use six numbers of your SSN which my husband freaked out about because he thought anyone could then could find the remaining three numbers and wreak more havoc on my life.

Why are the rules of the settlement changing? If one already filed a claim and attested to the fact that they already had a credit monitoring service, we are now being asked to log back in to verify this. This seems like a way to invalidate many of the filings.

Many people filed claims for cash payments instead of free credit monitoring, which means each person will get less than $125. Because of that, the settlement administrator is sending email to the people who filed claims for cash payments. It will ask each person to name their credit monitoring service and give them a choice to change their claim from cash payment to free credit monitoring. This FTC blog has more details.

There there is money available under the settlement to reimburse people for what they paid out of pocket to recover from the breach. You could file a claim for money you paid to freeze your credit after the breach, or to hire 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.

How do I optout exactly?

The settlement website (www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com) has questions and answers about how to exclude yourself from the settlement.

how soon do you issue checks?

The settlement administrator will not send out any benefits until they are allowed to do so by the court, which will be January 23, 2020, at the earliest. Go to www.FTC.gov/Equifax for more information about the settlement.

The website told me my personal information was impacted but I had no knowledge of this at all or that Equifax had been breached for that matter. I have no proof of my info being compromised and my life pretty much went on as normal since the breach. No loans in my name were taken out no phony purchases. What is my next step?

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