A settlement by Equifax for a 2017 data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people has been announced by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and all U.S. states and territories.
A preliminary court settlement has cleared the way for Equifax to fund up $700 million to offset damages incurred by consumers, who can now file a claim.
Consumers can verify whether or not their data was part of the breach on this website. To determine if you are entitled to any compensation or damages, enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security Number on the site.
There is also a phone number to reach the Settlement Administrator: 1-833-759-2982.
The deadline to file a claim is Jan. 22, 2020. Also worth noting: If you intend to opt-out of the settlement, you must notify the company in writing no later than Nov. 19, 2019.
Compensation awards can be as high as $20,000, depending on the type of damage suffered, such as:
- Unauthorized charges on credit accounts
- The cost of freezing or unfreezing credit reports
- Attorney or accountant fees
- Or other expenses such as notary fees, document shipping fees, postage, mileage or phone charges.
Consumers are also eligible for $25 per hour up to 20 hours spent on dealing with breach consequences.
In addition to cash awards, consumers can ask for other compensation awards, including free credit monitoring for identity theft protection, or $125 cash if a consumer already has paid for credit monitoring. The free credit monitoring includes:
- At least four years of free monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and $1,000,000 of identity theft insurance.
- Up to six more years of free monitoring of your Equifax credit report.
For more information, refer to this FAQ.