After a a 2017 data breach that affected nearly 150 million people, courts have ordered credit reporting bureau Equifax to pay upwards of $700 million in fines and monetary relief to consumers.
For consumers affected by the data breach, personal information such as Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and even driver’s license numbers were potentially exposed.
As part of the court-ordered settlement, Equifax is paying $425 million to affected consumers to help cover the time and money spent to protect themselves from identity theft that may have resulted from the breach.
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So, just what does all of this mean for you? Well, under the settlement, people whose information was exposed in the leak will be eligible for free credit monitoring. Or, those who already have credit monitoring services can request restitution in the form of a $125 cash payment.
If you can document that time and money spent recovering from the leak cost you more than $125, you may also qualify for cash payments of up to $20,000.
To see if your information was affected by the breach, you’ll need to fill out some basic information on the official Equifax Breach Settlement page here. If you qualify, follow this link to choose the settlement option that fits your situation.
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. Still, something’s better than nothing, right?