Did You Get the $125 Equifax Settlement?
I wrote the story below in August 2019. A year later, did you get your check?
From August 2019
This story just gets better and better. As a recap, Equifax was hacked in 2017, and 147 million consumer files were compromised. They were ordered to offer up a settlement in 3 ways—first, an offer of a $125 check. Second, credit monitoring for free for four years. Finally, you can be insured up to $20,000 from loss in an identity theft case as long as you can prove it came from Equifax - good luck that is almost impossible to prove.
So, thousands of people have flocked to the settlement site to see if their files were compromised and, if so, claim their settlement check. Here is why you might not get it.
Someone thought it was a good idea to cap the settlement fund at $31 million. It looks like they are going to hit that cap. What a bad idea! If everyone went for the $125 check, that would only take care of roughly 20% of the 147 million people. Who thought that was a good idea? Better than that, who thought a check for $125 was a good idea? After all, offering credit monitoring services is more than enough and worth way more than a $125 settlement check. People who have had no problems resulting from this hack are going to the site and claiming their $125. How are they getting away with it? Easily - the site is set up to accommodate making a claim without proof of anything.
It looks like you have to prove it going forward - Equifax released a statement that they would reach out to everyone who made a claim for "more information" as well as to give them a chance to choose the credit monitoring over the $125 check. That means they are going to ask proof that a problem happened as a result of the data hack. As I said for those claiming the more significant settlement up to $20,000, good luck it is almost impossible to prove on any level.
This is not only the biggest data breach in history; it is also the most poorly run settlement process in history. Don't worry; the Federal Government is involved.
A year later, August 2020, I have to ask the question - Did you get your check?