Remember the 2017 Equifax data breach? The company finally settled with the Federal Trade Commission this week. The settlement totals $700 million in cash paid out to Americans impacted by the breach. The FTC has set up a website where you can find out if your data was leaked and how to file a claim.
Leah speak can be confusing and we want you to get what you deserve, so we went through the filing process for you. Take a look at our suggestions before you click on this link to file your own claim.
Two options: after you fill in some personal details (name, address, etc.), you’ll be asked to select one of two options. The first is to claim your $125 check and the second is attest that you currently have a 6-month credit monitoring service in place. Technically, you can’t get the money unless you already have credit monitoring, but you can sign up for free credit monitoring and still claim your check.
You will then be asked to fill in some details about how the breach impacted you. Did you spend more or less than 10 hours trying to recover the information? If you did, you might be entitled to more money -- but there’s a catch. You have to prove that you spend hours tracking down your details. To do this, you’ll need phone records, emails, and any other paper trails you can uncover (see, this is why we always push our clients to keep track of everything!).
The site will also ask you if your life has been impacted by the breach and whether or not you have been a victim of identity fraud because of it. Once again, you’ll need to have your ducks in a row and prove that you were impacted. If not, just move along to the next part.
You should get a file number code when you complete the form. Make sure to write this code down somewhere or save it on your company. After that, you wait. Since the claim won’t be entirely settled until mid-December, it might be a long wait, but you should see some money from the settlement if you were impacted by the data breach.
Not So Fast
While it’s important that Equifax is held accountable for the data breach, we’re crossing our fingers that you will actually get the $125 noted above. Sadly, The Verge has recently posted an article stating that you may not get that much money at all. In fact, as more and more people sign up for compensation, less money becomes available. So what is the point of a settlement if you really won’t get anything at all?
Settlements like this one really benefit people that can prove their lives were derailed. If you happen to be one of those people, make sure to gather all of your paperwork and submit it with your claim. If you aren’t sure what paperwork to put together, let us help you get the money that is owed to you. In cases like this one, it’s all in the details (and the more details you have, the more money you will get!).