Equifax – Take the Money and Run?
How to Approach the Mass Data Breach
Back in September of 2017, Equifax, one of the credit reporting agencies, experienced a data breach that impacted the personal information of nearly 147 million people. Consumers have pursued class action lawsuits against Equifax, while Equifax denies any wrongdoing.
Below are some actions you may want to consider:
1. Determine if you are a class member
You will want to confirm if you are a class member. To do so, you can go to the bottom of this website www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com and click the "Find Out if Your Information Was Impacted" button or call 1-833-759-2982.
2. Complete the Claim Process Start the Claim Process and Complete Your Information
Yes, the process requires you to provide information to a firm who had a data breach. However, Equifax is acting under higher scrutiny.
3. Select if you want Credit Monitoring or a Cash Payment
The free credit monitoring includes at least four years of three-bureau credit monitoring, offered through Experian. You can also get up to six more years of free one-bureau credit monitoring through Equifax.
If you already have credit monitoring services that will continue for at least 6 more months, you may be eligible for a cash payment of up to $125. The $125 you are eligible to receive may be less depending on the number of claims that are filed.
4. Submit a claim for any losses or reimbursement
If you spent time or money dealing with an identify theft issue that happened after the Equifax breach occurred, you can file a claim and potentially get compensated up to $20,000 per person. You can be reimbursed for the following:
Losses from unauthorized charges on any of your credit accounts
Cost to freeze or unfreeze your credit report
Cost of credit monitoring
Fees paid to professionals to resolve your Identity theft issues
Fees use to resolve the identity theft issues, such as notary fees or document shipping fees
5. How to Protect against future Identity Theft
Identity theft is a quickly growing crime which can affect your financial situation. We recommend you talk to your financial advisor during your next meeting to discuss if you should consider freezing your credit, subscribing to an identity theft protection service, and making sure you have coverage for identity theft through a homeowner’s insurance policy.