In the 2017 Equifax data breach, over 147 million Americans’ personal information was stolen by hackers. Sensitive information such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other identifying information were lost in the breach. In turn, Equifax reached a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that allows some compensation. Here’s how.
Those that were affected have two options: Free credit monitoring for 10 years or accept a $125 check. Basically, there is limited money in the pool the FTC and Equifax agreed upon so not everyone affected may get compensation. If you wait too long, the funds may already be depleted.
So you want to be compensated. Let’s get started. The first thing to do is to check if your information was breached. To do this, you must put the last six of your social security and your last name on this Equifax form. If you’re lucky enough to have not been affected, then you will not be eligible for compensation.
If you had your data breached, then you have several options of recourse. But you’re also waiving your right to pursue legal action in the future if you elect compensation, so choose carefully.
“Alternative Reimbursement Compensation” will allow the two aforementioned options of a one-time payment of $125 or 10 years of credit monitoring. If you already have credit monitoring and wish to take the small sum of money, you have until January 22, 2020, to make a claim.
According to CNBC, you can only receive the $125 until the $31 million cap is hit. Once that happens, the sum of money for those affected greatly depreciates. Those that were truly affected (stolen identity or large sums of money stolen from their bank account) can file a $20,000 claim — but there’s a catch.
You have to prove your identity was stolen or show how much money was stolen and how much time and money you spent to try and rectify the issue. You don’t have to prove it was Equifax’s fault, you just have to show it happened during the time their data breach took place in 2017.
It’s important to note that if you were affected in the breach and decide to do nothing, you’re automatically waiving your right to take legal action against Equifax in the future, the Washington Post reported.