FTC recommends free credit monitoring over $125 cash in Equifax settlement

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,576   +1,075
Staff member
Bottom line: On Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission, which is handling the $700 million data-breach settlement with Equifax, said the response from those wanting the cash was so huge that claimants would likely receive “far less” than $125.

About a week ago we reported that you might be eligible to receive up to $125 from the class-action lawsuit that Equifax recently settled. The response for claims was so “overwhelming” that people who have applied are probably going to be quite disappointed.

As part of the $700 million settlement reached this month, affected parties would receive four years of free credit monitoring through Experian plus six additional years through Equifax. Those who already have such services could opt for a $125 cash payment.

“The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming,” Assistant Director of Privacy and Identity Protection Robert Schoshinski wrote in the FTC blog. “But there’s a downside to this unexpected number of claims.”

"Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more because it monitors your credit report at all three nationwide credit reporting agencies, and it comes with up to $1 million in identity theft insurance and individualized identity restoration services."

Of the $700 million Equifax agreed to pay, most of it has been earmarked for those who suffered financially (in time or money) over the breach. Only $31 million was set aside for those whose information was caught up in the fiasco but did not bear any losses. Some 147 million people had their data leaked. If even a small fraction asks for cash compensation, they will not receive anywhere near $125. Doing the math shows that to have a full $125 payday, there can only be 248,000 claimants.

If you have already asked for cash from the settlement website, it is not too late to take the free credit monitoring instead. Soon the settlement administrator will be sending out emails asking for proof of existing credit monitoring to be eligible for the payment. At this time, anyone who would rather have the 10 years of ID protection, instead of the pennies they will likely receive, can change their mind.

With good reason, the FTC highly recommends taking the monitoring, which keeps an eye on all three credit reporting agencies and provides up to $1 million in identity theft insurance. Over 10 years that is a value into the thousands of dollars. Alternatively, you can wait and gamble that the millions that have filed cash claims change their minds.

Permalink to story.

 

Scshadow

Posts: 662   +319
Yeah I have credit monitoring. I monitor my credit. Why would I want monitoring to be paid for by the company that mishandled my information in the first place?
 

Graloc25

Posts: 37   +10
Yet more smoke & mirrors. $700m, but just 4.4% for the majority! Where's the money coming from to pay for the 'free' monitoring? Let's take the FTC 3 in 1 deal! Three times more chance your details get leaked! But hey you can get a million bucks if it all goes t**s up!
 

fps4ever

Posts: 985   +1,480
I took the credit monitoring. They only have so much for the payouts and way to many people already signed up. Do some research first. Enjoy your $0.25 check. I'd rather have peace of mind even if it's the same company. And the monitoring certainly won't be that much of a cost when it seems like 9 out of 10 people took the quick cash offer.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,576   +1,075
Staff member
Yet more smoke & mirrors. $700m, but just 4.4% for the majority! Where's the money coming from to pay for the 'free' monitoring? Let's take the FTC 3 in 1 deal! Three times more chance your details get leaked! But hey you can get a million bucks if it all goes t**s up!
I agree that $31 million is a ridiculously low amount to offer, especially since it was the breach that got many people to sign up for credit monitoring anyway. They should have known the response for cash would have been huge.

As for three times more chance of getting your data leaked. That's a false assumption. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have always recorded and reported your credit and will continue to do so. So your chances of facing another breach are going to be the same as they ever were. At least with the monitoring package that they are offering, you will have tools to keep an eye on your credit including locking you credit file, which will keep someone from opening a line of credit under your name, $1 million worth of insurance incase somebody does manage to steal your identity, and restoration services to get things back in order for you.

It's not a bad deal even is it is from the same company that was originally breached. And you can guarantee after losing almost 3/4 of a billion dollars because of the fiasco, they are going to do everything they can to not let it happen again.
 

netman

Posts: 818   +368
I knew this would happen! For class action law suits this is norm...

I chose the credit monitoring... The cash recipients would probably get 49 to 99 cents!
 

OutlawCecil

Posts: 739   +570
Credit monitoring is free from multiple sources. CreditKarma is amazing and offers that. WHY would anybody not take the $125???
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,079   +8,109
According to this mornings news that $125 opportunity has all but disappeared. They claim they only have $30M available for distribution. Playing that game, were I the judge in the matter I would make them provide that free credit monitoring for the life of the account holder as a meaningful compensation for a company that has perfected the smoke and mirror management style .....
 
R

retsxel

No thank you FTC! I was one of the people affected by this breach and and have spent money to deal with it. I get compensated in cash, or I opt out and take on Equifax directly. Not the first time I've done so.
 

VBKing

Posts: 76   +36
You are NOT GETTING 10 FULL YEARS of Credit Monitoring at ALL THREE credit bureaus as many articles are leading you to believe.
You are only getting 4 YEARS at all three bureaus and 6 YEARS at 1 bureau (which is obviously not as good as monitoring all 3 bureaus and just boggles my mind why any judge would allow the stupidity of cutting back the monitoring to only 1 bureau for the last 6 years.)

The settlement details (found at https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/ clearly state that you get:

- At least 4 years of three-bureau credit monitoring, offered through Experian.
You can also get up to 6 more years of free one-bureau credit monitoring through Equifax.
 

fps4ever

Posts: 985   +1,480
You are NOT GETTING 10 FULL YEARS of Credit Monitoring at ALL THREE credit bureaus as many articles are leading you to believe.
You are only getting 4 YEARS at all three bureaus and 6 YEARS at 1 bureau (which is obviously not as good as monitoring all 3 bureaus and just boggles my mind why any judge would allow the stupidity of cutting back the monitoring to only 1 bureau for the last 6 years.)

The settlement details (found at https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/) clearly state that you get:

- At least 4 years of three-bureau credit monitoring, offered through Experian.
You can also get up to 6 more years of free one-bureau credit monitoring through Equifax.

I've never read it the way you are inferring in any articles I've read?