How To See If You Are Entitled To Be Compensated For Equifax Data Breech

August 1, 2019

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One of the largest personal data leaks in history happened in 2017 when Equifax announced that personal data of more than 150 million people had been breached by cybercriminals.  That's about 56% of Americans! Last week the consumer credit reporting agency agreed to pay $700 million in damages to settle federal and state investigations into how it handled the data breach. The deal includes an initial restitution fund of $380.5 million.  That breaks down to a one-time payment of $125 or 10 years of free credit monitoring. Those who endured heavy losses can also apply for a cash payment of up to $20,000, and people can seek $25 per hour for up to 20 hours to compensate for their time dealing with the breach and its consequences. With so many people affected, the Equifax website devoted to see if you are eligible has been filled with glitches, website crashes and scammers setting up fake websites to steal people’s identifying information or charging people for representation. The government says to only visit the website www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com only and by entering the website address yourself (not though a link or banner ad). However by agreeing to the $125 or credit monitoring, you are opting in to the settlement and will no longer be able to take legal action against Equifax.  Two important dates to keep in mind.  You have until November 19, 2019 to opt out of the settlement and retain your right to sue Equifax separately. You'll have to opt out by sending a letter to Equifax and cannot do it online.  If you want to opt in to the settlement and claim your $125 or free credit monitoring service, you much make your claim by January 22, 2020. Remember by opting in, you give up the right to pursue separate legal claims over the data breach. The claim processing won't begin until next year, so be prepared to wait a while before the reimbursement lands in your mailbox. CLICK HERE to see if you are eligible.

SOURCE:USA Today, CNBC & Consumer Reports

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