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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

How do I know if I'm affected?

An affected consumer is any person whose information was exposed in the Equifax data breach.

You might already know whether your information was exposed in the data breach. If you don't, the breach claims site will have a tool to let you check whether your information was exposed. The claims site will open after a court approves the claims approval process. 

How do I know if I'm affected

When the claims process starts, the claims website will have a tool you can use to find out whether you were affected.

The claims process will start after a court approves it. The FTC has more questions and answers at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

How do I know if I am part of this breach

PLEASE TELL ME IF I AM AFFECTED

You can use this look-up tool to see if your information was exposed in the data breach. Get more information at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

Am I affected?

The eligibility email I received asks for my last name and last 6 digits of my social. I’m uncomfortable doing that. Is that really required or is this another scam?

We keep hearing about this, however, NEVER once did you give us a link to check on this WITHOUT giving all the info that hackers need to do it all over again.

What would you like to check? When you sign up for email from the FTC, the only information you need to give is your email address.

You can sign to get FTC email updates about the Equifax settlement. The settlement claims process will start after a court approves it.

Exactly!

Very true...

I received an email as well as a letter in the mail.

Scammers will likely use this news to "help" people get their refund. Do not under any circumstances respond to an unsolicited call or email offering to process your refund. Only trust information provided in this website.

Problem is that the data is compromised forever. Even if you have had no ill-effects so far, you could in the future.

I don't think the settlement should ONLY go to people who have already been affected, but to EVERYONE that was found to have been affected because we don't know what costs we may incur in the future. I have already found my name in the dark web several times. Who knows how much more money I will incur in the future. Who can answer that question for me?

An affected consumer is any person whose information was exposed in the Equifax data breach.

You might already know whether your information was exposed in the data breach. If you don't, the breach claims site will have a tool to let you check whether your information was exposed. The claims site will open after a court approves the claims approval process. 

Yes...agreed my credit is destroyed...nightmare

I had to change my address several times. It is a mess right now.

I want this free monitoring for my lifetime since that's what the data breach has cost me and my husband and daughter. We can be a victim as long as we live!

If your daughter was under age 18 in May 2017, she is eligible for a total of 18 years of free credit monitoring. Read more at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

Of course there will be more identity thief from this breech after the 10 year coverage...What then?

To the best of my knowledge, I was not among those who affected - at least based on their original info site. I wasn't very comfortable with what that site asked, so I will check again after the court approves the plan.
In the meantime, it's a crying shame that Equifax was allowed to remain in business after their dereliction of duty and the selfish actions taken by those in charge of that company.

That’s great $125 , and a life long worry about the breach. Feeling like I was sold out.

If your information was exposed in the data breach, you can request $125 if you decide not to enroll in free credit monitoring, because you already have credit monitoring. Or, you can request up to 10 years of free credit monitoring. You may also request:

  • Cash Payments (capped at $20,000 per person)
  • Free Help Recovering from Identity Theft
  • Free Credit Reports for all U.S. consumers, starting in 2020. All U.S. consumers can get 6 additional free credit reports per year for 7 years from the Equifax website.
Read more at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

I’ll take the $125 dollors thank you very much. Credit monitoring is a scam. You have to submit all your data to a company that has been hacked in the past. I’ve been offered this free service a half-dozen times in the last couple of years - i’ve had my data stolen that many times. These companies have to be hit where it hurts - a significant fine (this one is NOT) or be forbidden to continue to operate in that line of business. With so little downside to being sloppy with security, why would they implement effective security procedures? That costs more. I’m in the computer security business and I am shocked at how little attention and expense is placed on securing our data.

I have no doubt that the VERY SAME HACKERS are licking their chops, just patiently waiting for the online claims process' floodgates to open...and they will breach that site & it's "safety measures" as well.

Sorry, but I still have "PTSD" from the initial breach and DO NOT in any way trust Equifax to handle this properly.

#dejavu #FoolMeOnce.... #YouKnowTheRest

I have been breached 6 times by the state, mobile phone company, equifax, email yahoo and others. I don't know where I can get help to protect my identity, and personal information from scammers. My tax refund was held from me and they are still processing my refund since January. No one helping me find out the cause.

I know we got a letter saying ours was possibly one of the ones compromised and then my bank sent me an alert that my e-mail had been found on the black web and my husbands card was being charged for stuff we didn't by from Paris, France.....good thing my bank is smarter than the thiefs… like I know someone in Paris......so yea I would say ...we were one of the comprised ones

It is important the claim system/process has a way to prevent hackers from claiming the $125 using the identity info they have stolen in 2017

I’m sorry but I think it’s good Equifax has to reimburse for the garbage I went through since that happened to me and I received the letter. The crooks waited for about a year and then nailed me from Miami. Omg. It’s awful. Two were recently. I just don’t bother anymore and I’m not paying for a service to protect identity theft when in reality, no one can protect it. Let’s see what comes true. They put the press release out. Reality is a way different thing with corporate America. I did my own investigation on it. I was mad when something actually happened.

This is not enough. What a sham. They gave away my most private data and it will cost them virtually nothing. They had a huge responsibility to protect this data and they did not take it seriously. The punitive damages should remove any profit they made from our data for at least 5 years. If there is no real consequence for not protecting data this sensitive, there is no incentive for the company to beef up security to the appropriate level.

After the breach occurred Equifax took forever to take corrective steps. First thing that happened is their website went down. Then when they put a link to freeze your credit the link did not work. Seems like I spent hours trying to protect myself using the free tools available. If there is anything good that came out of this, is that now we can all freeze our credit for free. This has been long overdue.

OK, I am a Prime example. 1-Police Report, 2-Report to the Company or Bank, 3-Fill out letter from the Federal Trade Commission-Identity Theft.gov , 4-Send all documents to the Creditor, and Credit Bureau's . Which I did. The Credit Bureau's will freeze your credit report for 1 year. This took me an EXTREME amount of time and effort. Paying for my Police Report, faxing, and mailing. WHAT A PAIN.

There should be a free credit protection for every single person in this country. I didn’t choose to have a SSN that can be used against me if stolen. There has to be a better system that won’t bankrupt innocent people. How about having politicians who care about making out lives easier for real?

This settlement is bad. When the "breach" (giveaway) of data was exposed I read the "End User Agreement" that Equifax offered for free data protection and it specifically stated that using their service would remove all liability - they would watch but not their problem. (I apologize if this is a re-post)

This sucks. WHY CANT THE US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINS change the social security numbers for those of us whom " were forced to trust Equifax as a credit beauro, and were literally fired. Now I have to move all my info is in the dark web and lots of crazy stuff on other side of the planet under my and other peoples names. Let us change our Social security numbers and put EQUI-HACKS out of business. Pur lives and kids future are at big risk along with others. Please , if a criminal on the street breaks a crime he goes to jail. But when a company isnt protecting our private info and says they are that's attempted theft by fraud.
Why isnt Equifax closed for good?
We have rights , statutes, and our

I agree. The affected ppl SHOULD be assigned new SS#. But I guess that would make too much sense, so that's why we're stuck with the same tainted SS#.

How do I find out if I was effected?

You can use this look-up tool to see if your information was exposed in the data breach. Get more information at www.FTC.gov/Equifax

is this the official government approved website for this settlement? or am i being Phished?? .equifaxbreachsettlement. com/

A website address that ends in ".com" is not a government website.

The website www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com is the where you can file a claim if your information was exposed in the Equifax data breach.

The FTC has more information at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

Just received a notice from FTC, is it legitimate?? I don't see anything on the FTC website..
Updated information about the Equifax Data Breach Settlement is available at ftc.gov/Equifax. The settlement administrator is now accepting claims. The deadline to file a claim is January 22, 2020.
Visit ftc.gov/Equifax for details. You are receiving this email because you signed up to get email updates about this settlement.

Yes, the email notice you got from the FTC is legitimate.

We have information about the Equifax settlement at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

The deadline to file a claim is January 22, 2020.

I received one (and perhaps a second) reissued credit cards after the equifax breach. I have online sites that have my credit card information so I can autopay some periodic bills. I wonder if the time spent changing credit card information for online accounts considered as "time dealing with the breach" and reimburseable?

Read more about what you can file a claim for at www.FTC.gov/Equifax.

Thank you for responding, and I appreciate all of the information you've been providing in response to the various comments. However, I went to the website you recommended, and most of the linked sites, and all I could find was that compensation was available for "time dealing with the breach" - there were no examples given.

The settlement option 1 is very misleading. It's telling people they can get monitoring OR a $125 cash payment which is not the case. You should be able to chose the cash payment even if you DONT get monitoring within 6 months. If your name comes up on the breach website with your last name and last 6 digits of SS number your affected.

You can file a claim for free credit monitoring if you don't have free credit monitoring now. If you already have credit monitoring, you can file a claim for $125.

If you were affected by the breach and you paid expenses as a result of the breach, or spent time dealing with the breach, or paid for Equifax credit monitoring and related services between 9/7/16 and 9/7/17, you can file a claim for cash payments.

Go to www.FTC.gov/Equifax to learn more.

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