TNW recently reported the US Federal Trade Commision (FTC) had passed down a rather friendly little fine to Equifax – just $700 million dollars for exposing the private financial data of more than half of all US citizens. We also mentioned that Equifax was going to be shelling out checks to those affected and today’s the day you can file your claim.
Equifax dropped the ball in the summer of 2017 when as many as 147 million people were put at risk for identity theft after a preventable breach exposed their private data. Amazingly, the company’s CEO just said screw it and quit – walking away with a gigantic payout in the form of a $15M golden parachute.
The new CEO wasn’t any better, he apparently took the job with next to no understanding of what caused the breach or how customers were affected. We couldn’t help but wonder how the company was legally allowed to continue conducting business.
Fast forward to present day and Equifax is finally facing the music. TNW’s Ravie Lackshmanan reports Equifax will pay:
- $300 million to cover free credit monitoring services for impacted consumers. The company may need to cough up an additional $125 million if the original fine amount isn’t enough to compensate all consumers who make claims.
- $175 million, to be split up among the 50 attorneys general who filed suit, representing 48 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico
- $100 million in civil penalties to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Considering Equifax nets that in about a year, it seems like the FTC is letting it off lightly. But today isn’t a day for passing judgment or castigating companies for profiting off our data with almost no regard for our privacy.
It’s a day for getting paid.
With 147 million people affected, there’s a pretty good chance you’re on this list. I don’t want to name names, but several of my colleagues and myself all checked for ourselves and it looks like we’re all getting paid.
Here’s how you can get your chunk of that settlement dough:
- Navigate to this site.
- Enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number
- Fill out the claim information.
If you’ve actually been a victim of identity fraud or spent time dealing with problems directly related to the Equifax breach you could be eligible for more money, up to $20,000. But you’ll need to provide information about the exact nature of your situation and you may need documentation.
However, if you haven’t had any of those issues you can file a level one claim for $125 in the form of a check or prepaid credit card. And you do not have to provide any documentation or proof at this time. It’s possible a request could be made for more information later, but to get started all you need is your name and address.
This isn’t a scheme or a scam: if you’re on the list, Equifax owes you that money. Go get paid folks.