Many people who were affected by the disastrous Equifax 2017 data breach are seeking cash payments from the credit monitoring company. But, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned this week that there might be enough claims money for everyone to get a $125 check, according to a CNN news report. Now, the FTC is trying to persuade Americans to pick Equifax’s offer of free credit monitoring instead of the money.
So far, millions have logged on to a claims website set up by the federal government a $575-million settlement last month. Of that amount, up to $425 million was set aside to compensate those who could clearly prove they were victims of identity theft as a result of the Equifax data breach.
Consumers Getting Shortchanged
As part of the $575 million settlement, up to $425 million was set aside to compensate those who could clearly prove they were victims of identity theft as a result of the breach. For those unable to prove clear financial harm, which is likely the majority of consumers, the settlement offered users either free credit reporting to 10 years or a $125 one-time cash payout.
But, because the FTC set aside $31 million for these payouts, it is quickly running out of cash and is telling consumers that the free credit reporting is a “much better value.” Free credit reporting is essentially worthless to most consumers because they include terms of service restrictions that could take away your legal rights. This is without question a failure on the part of the FTC.
Claim Your $125 Now
If you don’t claim your $125, you will likely lose it because the FTC is running low on funds. The $31 million cash fund is part of a larger $300 million fund that Equifax agreed to pay for under its data breach settlement with the FTC. The rest of the money provides free credit monitoring for consumers who opt for it instead of cash. Some of the money is also allocated for cash reimbursements to those who claim the breach cost them significant amounts of life – up to $25 for each hour spend freezing credit, disputing fraudulent charges or seeking credit monitoring.
To file a claim to receive $125, visit the Equifax data breach settlement website at https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/. Please remember that requesting the $125 does not prohibit you from submitting a claim to be compensated for other financial losses. If you have suffered losses, you may also choose to file a California class-action lawsuit. Please contact a renowned consumer law firm to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.