UPDATE: Due to the small size of Equifax’s settlement fund, victims may receive less than the promised $125 cash settlement. NCL is now recommending that consumers take advantage of the free credit monitoring option.
While the Equifax breach is not new, the announcement of an FTC settlement fund could create an environment ripe for scammers to take advantage of Equifax breach victims. As you look into your rights, make sure you only file a claim through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the official Equifax breach settlement page.
Background of the breach and settlement: In September 2017, Equifax announced one of, if not the largest and most damaging data breaches in history which compromised the personal information of 147 million Americans. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement fund which will help breach victims protect themselves from identity theft and repay victims for expenses they have encountered from the breach.
You can find out if you are a victim of the Equifax breach by clicking here.
Under the terms of the settlement, Equifax breach victims can choose between:
4 years of credit monitoring with all 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union)
- The 4 years of credit monitoring includes a $1,000,000 identity theft insurance policy
- In addition to the 4 years of monitoring with all 3 credit bureaus, this option provides an additional 6 years (a total of 10 years) of free credit monitoring of your Equifax report
A cash settlement of less than $125 cash if you already have credit monitoring of some kind.
- NCL recommends to avoid this option and take advantage of the free credit monitoring. Because of the popularity of the cash settlement option, and the limited amount of funds Equifax has set aside to pay it out, it is very likely that victims who choose this option will receive much less than $125.
- Victims who have already selected the cash settlement option, may change their decision and opt for free credit monitoring by emailing the settlement administrator at: info@EquifaxBreachSettlement.com
In addition, victims will be provided access to a compensation fund that will compensate victims for things like:
- Time spent dealing with the breach ($25 per hour up to 20 hours)
- The cost of freezing or unfreezing your credit report
- Costs incurred for credit monitoring
- Fees you paid you’re your attorney or lawyer for breach related work
- Other miscellaneous fees related to dealing with the breach such as notary fees, postage, millage and phone charges.
To learn more about the breach compensation fund, check out:
If you have additional questions you can contact the Equifax administrator by:
- Calling 1-833-759-2982
- Emailing info@EquifaxBreachSettlement.com