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FTC urges victims of Equifax data breach to choose credit monitoring, says $125 is not guaranteed

Last updated on August 6, 2019

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Last week, the FTC, among others, reached a settlement with Equifax about its September 2017 data breach that exposed personal information of 147 million people.

“We’ve told you to go to, where you can find out if your information was exposed and learn how to file a claim with the company in charge of the claims process,” the blog post reads. “The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming, and we’re delighted that millions of people have visited and gone on to the settlement website’s claims form.”

Every single one of the 147 million people that were affected by the data breach can ask for and get free credit monitoring. There’s also the option for people who certify that they already have credit monitoring to claim up to $125. Here’s the catch: only $31 million has been allotted for that part of the settlement.

“A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed,” the blog continued. “So, if you haven’t submitted your claim yet, think about opting for the free credit monitoring instead. Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more – the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year. And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already, because it monitors your credit report at all three nationwide credit reporting agencies, and it comes with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and individualized identity restoration services.”

What followed were instructions about how to switch your preference from the cash settlement to the credit monitoring. It included watching for an email from the settlement administrator. This email will give an opportunity to switch your preference to the credit monitoring.

“Please also note that there is still money available under the settlement to reimburse people for what they paid out of their pocket to recover from the breach,” the blog concluded. “Say you had to pay for your own credit freezes after the breach, or you hired someone to help you deal with identity theft. The settlement has a larger pool of money for just those people. If you’re one of them, use your documents to submit your claim”

To make your claim, visit:

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