The Issue: In 2017, Equifax Inc. revealed that personal data and information from over 147 million users of theirs had been hacked out of their databases and stolen. Data such as birthdates, names, and social security numbers were taken from what is roughly half of America’s population.
Their Solution: Last week, Equifax finally reached a settlement with the FTC valued at $700 million. As a way of trying to make amends to their consumers they offered $125 to every person affected by the breach, or as an alternative free credit monitoring. Originally placing a cap on expenses at $20,000 per each individual having to deal with any out-of-pocket burdens stemmed from the data breach, they now can’t even afford to pay the small claims for $125.
Why: Only $31 million out of the $700 million settlement was set aside for payments to consumers impacted. Thirty one out of seven hundred million. This past Wednesday, the FTC announced that they had an overwhelming amount of claims and urged people to choose the alternative of free credit monitoring.
What that means in the FTC’s own words: “A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed.” Check out their whole report here.
Reaction: While it doesn’t appear the $125 will he readily available, make sure to take advantage of the alternative free credit report.