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Equifax breach: You can now claim your share of the $ 700M settlement



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James Martin / CNET

You can now file a claim if you were among the 147 million people whose data were postponed in the Equifax data breakthrough in 201

7 to recover the money you used or lost as a result of the hacking. The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that Equifax has agreed to pay at least $ 575 million and up to $ 700 million to compensate victims of hackers who stole data from Equifax customers. Payments as part of the settlement can cover the cost of recovering from the security breach of the free credit report company – including recovering from your identity theft – and unauthorized charges on your account. You can also file a claim to cover the cost of protecting yourself from identity theft, following the Equifax data breach.

The violation involved resulted in hackers stealing social security numbers, addresses, credit card and driver card information, date of birth, and other personal information stored on Equifax's servers. As part of the investigation, the FTC claimed that the free credit institution failed to take reasonable steps to secure the network.

Participating in the settlement is not all right. To get started you can confirm that you were part of the breach. Then you collect all the documents you have related to the hacking. And finally, enter your claim for compensation. You have until January 22, 2020 to submit.

The exact amount that Equifax will pay out is not determined. The proposed settlement will start with a $ 300 million fund to offset affected consumers who purchased credit monitoring services. Equifax will also pay $ 175 million to state and districts – and $ 100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in civil penalties.

If the original $ 300 million infusion does not adequately compensate consumers, Equifax said the FTC agreed to add up to $ 125 million more to the fund for a total $ 700 million settlement. If you are a claimant, your part of the settlement may include free credit monitoring services and protection against identity theft. You may also be eligible for cash payments to cover expenses as a result of the breach – such as a lawyer's fee and credit monitoring – free help to recover from identity theft and free credit reports for 10 years.


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Equifax will pay up to $ 700 million over the historical data breach



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How to participate in the settlement.

Prepare and submit your claim

At the Equifax Data Breach Settlement web site, you can now file a claim to get back the money you lost as a result of the big all-hack. How to prepare and then submit a claim.

  • To support your claim, you must collect all the documents and receipts you have related to the breach to show the expenses you have to recover for identity theft, for example, and money lost due to the breach.
  • To follow the settlement, the FTC suggests you sign up to receive email updates.
  • You can also check the FTC's Equifax Data Breach Settlement page and the official data breach settlement page for updates.
  • And the FTC has a number you can call – (833) 759-2982 – for updates.
  • At the official settlement site you submit a claim online.
  • You can also follow the instructions to submit your claim or have a claim form sent to you.
  • As part of the claims process, choose which benefits you qualify for and review which documents you need to submit to support your claim.

Find out if you were affected by the breach

To check if your data was compromised, the FTC and the official settlement site have an online tool you can use to check if you were part of the Equifax breach.

You need to provide the last name and last six digits of your social security number to see if your data was part of the hacking.

What covers the payment settlement

The proposed agreement provides payments of $ 20,000 per person to cover what you used to get after the break. Here are the costs and expenses you may be able to recover.

  • Expenditure related to unauthorized charges to your accounts
  • Costs of freezing of credit report and credit monitoring
  • Fees paid to accountants, lawyers and other professionals
  • Postage, mileage, notary and other services expenses
  • Costs for Equifax credit monitoring and other services for one year before the breach.

In addition, from 2020, Equifax will provide all US consumers – either part of the settlement or not – with six additional free credit reports per year for seven years, from the site.

When Must I Submit a Claim

The FTC said you must file your claim by January 22, 2020. The soon you receive the benefits you qualify for is January 23, 2020, the FTC said.

This is the information we know right now, with many details still to come. We update this story as we learn more.


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