What the Tech? Equifax Data Breach

One way to look at the Equifax data breach is if you weren’t affected, your neighbor probably was.

Almost half the US population can file a claim to receive part of the $700 million attempt to make things right. Here’s what you need to do to find out if you’re part of the settlement:

The stolen information included names, birth dates and social security numbers. If you were affected, you should have received an e-mail but that was a couple of years ago. If you don’t remember, search your email for the name “Equifax”. If you don’t see anything you could still be affected and eligible for the payment.

There will be other emails sent to people part of the class-action lawsuit in the coming weeks plus full-page advertisements and announcements on social media.

There’s also the website, www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com where you can check for your name or email address. At the moment it isn’t active but will be when a judge approves the settlement.

You can also call this number 1-833-759-2982. When I did, I spoke to a real person in a matter of seconds who told me I should check back with that website Thursday or Friday. When I told her I had not signed up to be part of the class-action lawsuit, I was told it was not too late to make a claim and that I should call back later this week.

What could you get out of this? At the very least, free credit monitoring for at least 3 years. If you’ve already paid for credit monitoring, you can get $125 cash payment.

If you’ve spent time dealing with stolen information or identity theft, Equifax will reimburse you $25 an hour up to $500 total. You’ll have to jump through hoops to prove your work.

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