What Equifax Is Not Telling You About Their Data Hack Settlement
You might know by now that if you were a part of the Equifax data breach you are entitled to a settlement. Approximately 147 million people were effected. That is almost 1 of every 2 Americans.
If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, you can now file a claim for a piece of the settlement.
There are two ways to file a claim. You can file online at www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com or by mail.
I went through the process. First I checked to see if my information was compromised. It was compromised. Thus it appears that I am entitled to a settlement that is somewhat of a puzzle. You can get a settlement check of $125 or you can opt for credit monitoring (if you don't already have it) for 4 years. Now, lets do the math.
The cost of credit monitoring for all 3 credit monitoring services per the Equifax site is 19.95 a month. If you multiply that by 4 years you have a value of $957.40. You can choose to get a check for $125.00. Perhaps I misread the material. Does Equifax really have liability here? I would suggest no.
First, only a small percentage of people are paying attention and will file a claim. Second, I would bet that people jump at the $125 which is drastically smaller then the cost of 4 years of credit monitoring.
It gets better. You could get reimbursed for up to $20,000 for an identity theft case caused by the Equifax breech.
HOWEVER, read the fine print: In some cases, documentation "may be" requested to show proof of "fraud, identity theft, or other alleged misuse of your personal information fairly traceable to the data breach,” the settlement website notes.
Let me rephrase that - In every case, documentation will be requested to show proof that this happened because of the Equifax breech
This is something that the media is not focusing on. Don't be fooled into believing that providing proof is a hit or miss process. How do you prove that your identity theft case resulted from a breech back in 2017 when there are 100's of these happening across the country? Unless you can prove there was a buyer and a seller on the dark web and that specific information traded hands, it is impossible. Do you think that Equifax is going to try and get out of every case where they have a maximum liability of $20,000?
Of course they are!
So, check and see if you are a member of the settlement class which means your information was compromised and then chose whether you will get $125 or free credit monitoring for 4 years. As for the $20,000? Know going into it that the chances are probably slim.