If you signed up to receive a $125 settlement from Equifax following the consumer credit reporting agency’s massive 2017 data breach, don’t think you can simply sit back and wait to receive the check. Those looking for the cash settlement must verify their claim by October 15 — and, even then, you still might not get the full amount.
The announcement was made in July that consumers who had their data leaked could choose a settlement in the form of up to 10 years of free credit monitoring or $125 — the latter only being available for those already paying for credit monitoring.
Now, emails are being sent out to those who chose the cash settlement option asking them to verify their claim while also providing the name of the credit monitoring service currently being used. Individuals must also certify that they will continue using said credit monitoring service for at least another six months.
If that news isn’t disappointing enough for those looking to buy a couple of new Xbox games with their settlement cash, it is also now understood that consumers asking for the $125 might not actually get that full amount.
The verification emails from Equifax state:
“…depending on the number of valid claims that are filed, the amount you receive for alternative compensation may be a small percentage of your initial claim.”
The fact that affected consumers might not receive the full $125 was also verified by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on July 22.
Unfortunately, it will likely be much, much less. To compensate all 145 million victims with a $125 check, Equifax would have to pay out $18.1 billion. That’s a far cry from the $425 million the settlement sets aside to for victims.
Twitter Roasts Equifax Over Ongoing Settlement Scandal
Unsurprisingly, the response on social media to the extra verification step and potential for a decreased cash settlement has not been positive — ranging from jokes to wishing ill on the consumer credit reporting agency’s executives.
Equifax: hey.. we had a teeny weeny breach. you can get $125 or credit screening for free. your choice.
When Equifax thinks it’s slick and asks if you already have credit monitoring but they don’t know that your information was leaked by Sony years ago so you already have free credit monitoring. pic.twitter.com/iiYHvQXcRW
It bears mentioning that the free credit monitoring option is actually — at least on paper — more valuable than the $125 settlement option. The service monitors Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports and comes with identity theft and restoration insurance up to $1 million.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.