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You have two months to submit your Equifax claims plan



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James Martin / CNET

What are you waiting for? If you are among the 147 million people whose data were exposed in the Equifax data breach [1

9459115] 2017, you have until January 20, 2020 to see if you are eligible to file a claim to be issued or lost as due to the huge database hack. The Federal Trade Commission said in July that Equifax has agreed to pay a minimum of $ 575 million and a maximum of $ 700 million to compensate hacker victims who have stolen personal data from Equifax servers. Payments as part of the settlement can cover the costs of remedying the breach of the security of the free credit reporting agency – including recovering your identity theft and freezing and releasing accounts – and unauthorized debits to your account. You can also file a claim to cover the costs of protection against identity theft following the Equifax data breach.

To start, you can check whether you and your information have been exposed as part of the infringement. if your data was exposed, you collect vouchers and other documents related to the hack that show losses and cash outlay. And finally, submit your claim for compensation. (The FTC said that because of the overwhelming public response to the settlement the amount of cash you get for coverage coverage may be much, much less than $ 125. And make sure that you on the legitimate FTC settlement site: the FTC said that fake settlement sites appear .)

The violation resulted in hackers stealing credit card and driver's license information, social security numbers, addresses, birth dates and other personal information stored on Equifax's servers. As part of its investigation, the FTC claimed that the free credit bureau had not taken reasonable steps to secure its network.

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Even if you were not part of the infringement and are not eligible to file a claim, you can receive free credit reports for seven years as part of the settlement.

Participating in the Equifax settlement is not entirely easy. The exact amount that Equifax will pay out is undetermined. The proposed scheme will start with a $ 300 million fund to compensate affected consumers who have purchased credit surveillance services. Equifax will also pay $ 175 million to state and districts – and $ 100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in civilian fines.

If the initial $ 300 million infusion does not sufficiently compensate consumers, Equifax has agreed to add $ 125 million more to the fund for a total possible payout of $ 700 million. If you are a claimant, your share in the settlement may consist of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. You may also be eligible for cash payments to cover costs resulting from the infringement – such as legal fees and credit monitoring – and for free assistance in restoring identity theft and free credit reports for 10 years.

Here's how to participate in the settlement.

Find out if you have been affected by the infringement

If you want to check if your data has been exposed, the FTC and the official settlement site have an online tool that you can use to check whether you were part of the Equifax infringement.

You must enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to see if your data was part of the hack.

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Preparing and submitting your claim

On the Equifax Data Breach Settlement website you can submit a claim to recover money that you have lost or spent as a result of the broad hack. Here's how you can prepare and then submit a claim.

  • To support your claim, you must collect all documents and vouchers that you have related to the infringement to show, for example, the costs you had to recover from identity theft, and money lost due to the infringement.
  • To follow the settlement, the FTC suggests that you sign up to receive email updates.
  • You can also check the Equifax Data Breach Settlement page from the FTC and the official data breach violation page for updates.
  • And the FTC has a number that you can call – (833) 759-2982 – for updates.
  • You can submit a claim online at the official settlement site.
  • You can also follow the instructions on the site to e-mail your claim or to e-mail a claim form to you.
  • As part of the claim process, select which benefits you qualify for and view which documents you must submit to support your claim. Supporting documents include statements with unauthorized debits, costs for freezing your account, fees paid to professionals to assist with the theft and other related expenses.
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Start the claim process, provide some information.

What the Settlement Payments Can Cover

The proposed agreement limits the payouts to $ 20,000 per person to help cover what you have spent to recover from the infringement. Here are the costs and expenses that you can possibly recover.

  • Expenses for unauthorized debits on your accounts
  • Costs for freezing a credit report and credit monitoring
  • Fees paid to accountants, lawyers and other professionals
  • Costs for shipping, kilometers, notary and other services
  • Credit Guard Fees, to $ 125. (But don't expect to get that much.)
  • Cost of Equifax Credit Guard and other services for a year prior to the breach.

In addition, from 2020, Equifax will provide all US consumers – whether or not part of the settlement – with six additional free credit reports per year for seven years, from their website.

When should I submit a claim?

The FTC has said that you must submit your claim before January 22, 2020. The soonest received benefits for which you are eligible are January 23, 2020, the FTC said.


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