There's only one catch: the fine print on the settlement agreement states that if a large enough group of qualifying consumers apply for relief, payouts may be reduced from the stated amount of $125 per person.
Equifax's site determines those who qualify for the $125 payment and more. So in order to compensate, Equifax has issued settlement through the Federal Trade Commission and all you have to do is check to see if YOU were affected.
Most of us would probably jump for the free money, but the details are where all of this gets sticky.
You can get at least 4 years of free credit monitoring of your credit report at all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
The company was also required to offer free credit-monitoring services and identity-restoration services.
While I can feel my middle-school math teacher cringing as I write this, allow me to do some math: If you divide the $31 million pool by $125, it appears that only 248,000 people will receive what is known as Alternative Reimbursement Compensation.
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If every single one of the 147 million people affected by the data breach opted for a cash payment, each person would get $0.21 each.
"Certainly, don't click on any pop-ups, don't respond to any unsolicited requests for your SSN, or any sort of phone calls or emails that say 'you were an affected consumer from this breach, we are here to help you, '" Sutherlin says the FTC will not reach out to consumers directly when it comes to this matter. You can do that right here.
Here's what you need to know about the settlement. It means your personal information - including, critically, your social security number - wasn't exposed. You can instead claim $125 if you don't want to enroll for the monitoring. If you are one of the unlucky ones whose identity was stolen in the data breach, then you have quite a bit of work ahead of you.
The claims process is now open, and eligible consumers must submit restitution claims online or by mail before January 22.
So do the thing. If they do not already have credit monitoring, they can receive it. I'd rather have 10 years of more robust identity theft protection.
Children are eligible for the free credit monitoring services. And those who go for cash can choose between either a check or a Visa gift card.
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