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Bad News: The $ 125 payout for Equifax privacy breaches is damned unlikely


You could get back less in the settlement than you think.

Angela Lang / CNET

If you are affected by the 2017 Equifax Data Protection Infringement, you have the choice of making a $ 1

25 payout or a 10-year free credit watch. The problem is, your compensation of $ 125 for the grief you've been through to recover from the hack may not be $ 125. The FTC has pointed out that your benefit is "nowhere near the $ 125" if each and every beneficiary asks for the money to be monitored.

Here is the problem. Equifax has agreed to pay up to $ 700 million to compensate the 147 million victims of the data breach. However, the $ 125 cash pool is only $ 31 million, according to the FTC. That's about 20 cents per person.

However, you have another option. You can also choose 10 years free credit monitoring. And that is the choice that drives the FTC.

"Honestly, free credit monitoring is worth much more – the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year," the FTC said on its website. "And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than anyone else you already have."

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Equifax Violation: Find out if you're a part of …


As part of the settlement between the FTC and the free credit reporting firm, you can also claim for fraud and identity theft recovery, money spent to protect against violations, and costs reimbursed by Equifax Credit Monitoring Subscriptions. You can claim up to $ 20,000 in compensation by providing documents and supporting documents to substantiate your claim.

We have a guide to choosing between the options if you are considering which one is the better choice. And if you have already filed your claim, the FTC has informed you that you can change your mind. Look for an e-mail from the settlement administrator with instructions. Scammers are already setting up websites to outsmart victims, but they can easily be avoided as long as you know what you're looking for.

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