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You Probably Won't Get $125 from the Equifax Data Breach Settlement

by on August 07, 2019
in News, Blog, Privacy :: 5 comments

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If you were a victim of the Equifax data breach, you were probably looking forward to the $125 payment the company offered because of a recent settlement with the FTC. There’s just one small problem: there isn’t enough money to pay everyone.

The settlement only includes $31 million to make those payments, but the Equifax breach exposed the personal information of 147 million people. If every person affected by this data breach asked for a cash payout, the settlement money amounts to less than a quarter per person. And apparently a lot of people want their cut of the cash, because the FTC is now warning that you won't get $125.

While the FTC hasn’t said exactly how much money you might get, it did say the amount will be “nowhere near” $125. That’s bad news if you were hoping for a bit of cash to cover your next splurge, but if you aren’t looking forward to cashing a tiny settlement check, you have another option: credit monitoring.

Instead of a cash payment, you can claim 10 years of free credit monitoring — and though it won’t pay for your next grocery bill, it is pretty valuable. Any data breach could compromise your identity, letting hackers have your credit card numbers or enough personal information to apply for new credit cards in your name. It’s possible to fix identity theft, but to do so you need to regularly monitor your credit report to be sure no one has hijacked your identity. That where credit monitoring comes in: these services watch your credit record and alert you to any suspicious activity, and offers insurance to cover you in case of financial losses due to identity theft.

Credit monitoring can cost from $10 to $20 per month, and if you paid for it yourself it would cost you a lot more than the $125 cash payout Equifax is offering. And considering you aren’t likely to get anything close to $125, credit monitoring looks even more appealing.

If you haven’t filed a claim, you can still file your claim online or download the claim form to file by mail. When you make your claim, select credit monitoring instead of cash and you’ll at least get something out of this settlement.

How to change your selection if you've already filed your claim

If you have filed a claim, you should receive an email from the settlement administrator giving you an option to switch from a cash payment to credit monitoring. There's no word on when this email might go out, so just keep an eye on your inbox, and if you're worried you can contact the settlement administrator directly

However, when you file (or update) your claim, be careful. Scammers are trying to steal your personal information by putting up fake claim sites. Before handing over your personal data, be sure you know who you’re handing it to. The only valid websites for the Equifax settlement are ftc.gov/Equifax and equifaxbreachsettlement.com. If you’re on any other website, you’re probably being scammed. 

[Image credit: credit report on phone via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

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I WOULD PREFER THE TEN

From DENNIS J BLAIR on August 07, 2019 :: 9:31 pm

I WOULD PREFER THE TEN YEARS OF CREDIT MONITORING, IF I QUALIFY!

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I ditched my credit cards

From Jason on August 08, 2019 :: 9:36 am

Because of the breach I ditched my cards. I live in a consumer friendly state so I won’t get sued either. My credit will reset in 7 years and maybe by then the security breach’s will be fixed. Credit sucks anyways. I already own my own house and paid off. If you can’t afford it, then u don’t need it.

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My $125.00

From Gloria Simmons on August 09, 2019 :: 2:00 am

I think that $125.00 is a small amount to pay a consumer for compromising the personal information of unsuspecting clients. The money Equifax has and is making should not even put a dent in their earnings. Credit monitoring is fine for someone who has great credit and the money to back it up, but what about the consumers like me??? My credit portfolio is not one likely to be compromised because I don’t have great credit or big bucks. I could use the cash more so than the service. Why not set funding aside for the little guy?? I can afford the credit monitoring for myself but the $125.00 would say we had a bad security breach & this small amount would say here is a small token for pain and suffering. By the way, I don’t hear them trying to decrease the offer of up to $20,000.00 for the rich and famous!!! What’s wrong with that picture????

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its a lie anyway

From g saturn on August 13, 2019 :: 4:49 pm

Equifax has no intention what so ever of doing anything for any of us. please understand its just another case of pretending to punish the bad guys. the corporate employees that sold their stock when they knew Equifax was compromised, ( before they decided to actually tell us) should be jailed.  by the way, you can not have the $125. unless you can document you had to spend at least $10. to fix your credit or compromised ID. it’s all a big lie and the FCC is not doing anything real about what happened, Equifax should be barred from doing any business involving our personal information forever. who even gave them permission to have that information and sell or report it?

wake up America you’ve been hornswoggled again.

how about the FCC do the job they are supposed to do? punish the bad guys!

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They should be forced to pay

From Julia on August 12, 2019 :: 5:53 pm

The settlement should have been that they pay the $125 to anyone who qualifies, regardless of the cost. limiting it only means that the small guy gets screwed again

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