You Have a Moral Obligation to Claim Your $125 From Equifax

Help make sure that companies pay the consequences for data breaches.

Go claim your $125 from Equifax. Right now. Even if $125 isn't a sum of money that matters to you, even if you don't feel you were really directly affected by the breach. Even if the prospect of filling out a relatively brief online form fills you with more dread than the theft of all your personal data.

Consider it a part of your civic duty: driving up the costs of data breaches for corporations so they have an incentive to invest more heavily in security. [...]

You may be thinking, But I don't want to give Equifax the last six digits of my Social Security number and my birthdate and mailing address after it's demonstrated just how much it can't be trusted! Believe me, the company already knows all that information -- and so much more. But it's so much work to fill out the entire form! It's really not, unless you want to claim additional lost time or expenses beyond the base $125 payout [...]

If, for instance, you went ahead and purchased LifeLock or some other credit monitoring service after the Equifax breach, go ahead and submit that receipt too. Each individual is eligible to receive up to $20,000 as part of the settlement; $125 is just the amount you can receive without having to do any extra work or claim any extra losses. The settlement also includes provisions to reimburse you for your lost time at a rate of $25 per hour. If you spent hours on the phone trying to clear up suspicious credit activity or figure out whether you had been affected, go ahead and submit that as well.

Previously, previously.

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15 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    Every year or so I get some random thing in the mail about a class action suit I was part of because I owned a PS3 17 years ago and they overcharged me 12 cents for an adapter doo-dad or whatever.

    As a rule I also file a claim. If you read the fine print, sometimes the lawyers get what's left over after all claims have been files, so you definitely gotta get your share of that pie.

  2. eerie quark doll says:

    The wording on the settlement website is that they'll only cough up the $125 if you've already got credit monitoring services running and will continue to run for at least the next 6 months, else they'll give you credit monitoring and not the $125.

    • James M. says:

      But why would you read the terms of the settlement before telling people how to interact with it?

    • Pythor says:

      Sign up for Credit Karma. It's free, and they do credit monitoring. Now you can honestly claim your $125. Likewise, several credit cards you may already have offer free credit monitoring, as well as some credit unions.

    • ssl-3 says:

      It seems like it is every few months that someone loses my information for me, and I get signed up for another year of monitoring services for free.

  3. Martin says:

    Equifax owe me a lot more than $125 for the amount of bullshit I've been through over the last two years since I had my identity stolen because of their breach.

    I really hope this settlement doesn't prevent me from suing the bastards - I've only held off doing so to build up as much evidence as possible of them and the companies that use Equifax not giving a slight fuck about fixing the problem. If anyone knows any lawyers handling this sort of thing, I'd love to hear...

  4. Jon says:

    There's no guarantee of getting $125. They've already set an upper limit of $31 million for cash payouts, which is enough to pay about a quarter million people the full amount. Beyond that, the payments start getting scaled down. If all 147 million people whose information got leaked file a claim for $125, that winds up being around 20 cents per person.

    https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/faq#q-10

    If there are more than $31 million claims for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation, all payments for Alternative Reimbursement Compensation will be lowered and distributed on a proportional basis.

    • jwz says:

      Look the important thing is that this happen:

    • the hatter says:

      Most people are lazy, so there's a strong chance you'll at least get the money. Better that as much goes to at least some of the victims, rather than either staying with equifax or being paid to the lawyers in lieu of sufficient valid claims.

  5. jwz says:

    LauraSullivaNPR:

    Equifax just removed the $125 claim payout option after millions submitted claims. Now it's offering credit monitoring. Don't worry, Equifax says, this is really a "much better value."

    • pavel says:

      I don't understand what's going on here; why is a page hosted on ftc.gov sucking Equifax's dick so hard? It sounds like it was written by the most recent Equifax marketing hire.

      Is the simple answer just "regulatory capture"?

      • jwz says:

        Ding ding ding.

        There's doubtless an entire industry that coalesces around settlements of this magnitude. It has to be far worse than the grift in the charity industry. E.g.:

        "This Is The Official Settlement Website For The Equifax Data Breach Settlement. It Is Operated By The Settlement Administrator, Not By Equifax."

        How many "executives" do you figure "The Settlement Administrator" employs? And did they work for the prosecution or the defense? Ha ha ha, no, they're bound to be "industry experts", so yeah, gonna guess "former Equifax lobbyists". They have marketing campaigns. I saw an Instagram ad for the settlement. This is no mere "bus bench injury lawyer" ad. This is next level.

        Oh, here we go, the "Settlement Administrator" is JNDLA, who specialize in "Class Action Administration" and "Government Services".

        • Nick Lamb says:

          Plenty of awkwardness to share around. One of the things going on here is that under the Trump administration there is no appetite whatsoever for "consumer protection". Are consumers going to give Trump millions of dollars? No? Then who gives a shit about protecting them. Billionaires and huge corporations, that's who needs protecting in Trump's America.

          Another is America's love of the Class Action, which is great for lawyers, and pretty good for news media (exciting $$$ dollar amounts you can talk about) but largely useless for ordinary individuals as you see here.

          But almost as important is that ultimately this is the US Federal Government's fault anyway. It handed out these crappy nine digit ID numbers to citizens, which it then told organisations (with a wink) are not suitable for identifying people but they use them anyway. Nine digits would be a bad password for your Twitter account, let alone a supposedly "unique" identifier for people living in a country with hundreds of millions of citizens. Even if you have no idea about the SSN "format" you can pick at random and have an excellent chance of getting a valid one.

          Just like with credit card numbers, then, it's absurd to pretend this public identifier is also a "secret" that people ought to be responsible for protecting. But that's a big part of what is "leaked" from an outfit like Equifax. Along with other public information like your street address, and your name. This doesn't make it OK to spray across the Internet through incompetence, but it ought to be low risk, no worse than embarrassing for most people, which would also reduce the incentive for crooks to try to get it.

          But that doesn't happen because rather than say "This is hopeless, we need to fix it urgently" we get excuses and workarounds. Bad guys can take those public details, and fill them into a form, and borrow money with "your" credit, and the law will take the side of the bank when it says it thought that was you. Which loops us back around to consumer protection. A powerful pro-consumer regulator in Washington could be putting the fear of god into these outfits AND deploying the tools to make the problem stop getting worse.

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