Almost two years ago, I wrote about the Equifax Data Breach that affected nearly 143 million consumers. The fallout from the breach was felt around the world. The pressure became too much for the CEO, Richard Smith, was forced to retire. The credit monitoring giant was forced, by the Federal Trade Commission, to pay $700 million to customers who were compromised.
Equifax released a statement in regards to the settlement, here is an excerpt:
Under the terms of the consumer class action settlement, Equifax has agreed to do the following: (1) pay $380.5 million into a fund to pay benefits to consumers, court-approved fees and costs of class counsel and service awards to the named class representatives, and other expenses; (2) implement and maintain certain data security enhancements; (3) if necessary, pay up to $125 million more to reimburse consumers for out-of-pocket losses resulting from the data breach; and (4) provide certain other relief.
Under the proposed settlement, class members are eligible for one or more of the following benefits: (1) free credit monitoring or up to a $125 cash payment if they already have credit monitoring services that will continue for at least six (6) more months; (2) up to $20,000 in other cash payments for time and money spent preventing or recovering from identity theft because of the data breach; and (3) free identity restoration services provided by Experian to help remedy the effects of identity theft and fraud.
Consumers are encouraged to go to the following website, equifaxbreachsettlement.com, to check their eligibility for compensation and submit a claim. Another option consumers have is to contact the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982. I submitted a claim for $125 USD since I already have credit monitoring. There was no time offered as to when I should expect the check from Equifax.
Equifax was not the first nor the last company to experience a data breach, but as a credit monitoring service, there should be measures in place to protect the consumers.