Equifax, the US credit bureau, agreed with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this week on the massive 2017 data breach that exposed hundreds of millions of US Social Security numbers and other sensitive data. Now, as part of the class action lawsuit, you can finally claim $ 700 million in proceeds, which includes a $ 380,500,000 reimbursement fund.
The FTC published the compensation website this morning. On this website, you can verify that you have been affected by the infringement by the company and fill in the relatively simple form in which you can indicate which claims you are entitled to. Fortunately, it is not operated by Equifax, but by the Settlement Manager JND, which handles this type of class action and insolvency case of companies that may eventually claim millions. The website can be found here.
You receive a simple message stating that your personal information was affected by this incident, if you were actually affected. From there, you can return to the main page and file a lawsuit. The application process is incredibly easy. You can do this online or print the form to fill out and submit. You can also ask JND to send you a form and to download a form on behalf of a minor.
The form asks for some simple biographical information, such as: Where you live and when you were born. From there, you can either request a check for $ 125 or a prepaid card or free credit monitoring from three offices. In order to claim the money, you must already have credit monitoring and have this another six months after submitting the claim.
If you'd rather have the money for free credit monitoring, you can simply sign up for a free service like "Credit Karma Today," which offers free daily credit monitoring from its partner, TransUnion. A number of credit cards and Intuit's Mint budget planning service also offer some free versions of credit monitoring. In addition, there are paid services such as Identity Guard and MyFICO that do the same, with some more robust safeguards against identity theft and other integrated services. The breach will result in up to $ 25 per hour for a total of 20 hours. The likelihood is greatest that Americans spend no time, especially because the majority of people probably do not even know that they are affected.
However, if you have spent time fighting identity theft or exposing credit fraud for the breach, you can claim up to $ 500 in compensation. You must provide enough documentation for this part. So if you have not spent a lot of time right and have the records, you can just click "Next" and continue.
The final step is to ask if, as a result of the breach, you have actually been the victim of identity fraud or theft and suffered financially without reimbursement. Again, this requires some fairly serious documentation. If you follow this step or skip it by clicking Next, you can provide a check or prepaid card for your claim and then confirm all your information.
At the end, you will receive a claim number that you should save to your computer as a PDF. The form will ask for your email, but when I filled it in this morning, I did not receive an email. It is therefore best to make sure you have a copy of the page offline when prompted to provide proof of your claim in the future.
Regarding the deadlines mentioned here, you have until January 22, 2020, to file a lawsuit, while November 19, 2019 is the deadline for cancellation if you have your own lawsuit against Equifax. The final hearing for the case is scheduled for 19 December this year, if the settlement is expected to be approved. So you have a few months to make sure you sign up and tell your friends and family to do the same.