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What you need to know about the upcoming payme

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Victims of the massive Equifax breach that rocked the consumer credit rating industry five years ago are finally starting to receive updates about their upcoming settlement payments. In emails sent to consumers last week and this week, the claims administrator overseeing the class action settlement notified recipients of their eligibility and informed them of their payment options. If you recently received one of these emails, here’s what you need to know:

Tell me again what the hell happened

Way back in 2017, Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, revealed a significant data breach. The personal information of an estimated 147 million consumers was exposed, some super sensitive. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and individual states responded with a class action lawsuit, settled in 2019. Equifax agreed to pay $425 million “to people affected by the infringement.”

That is a lot of money? How much do I get?

This is where it gets a little less exciting. Individual cash payments were capped at $125 each, but due to the sheer number of people making claims, what you actually get is likely significantly less.

Are these recent emails legit?

According to the FTC, if your email is from [email protected], it’s genuine. We contacted JND, the company oversee the settlement claims, to confirm further details about the content of the emails. We’ll update this post with additional information if we hear anything.

Not surprisingly, many recipients of the emails are skeptical about their legitimacy. Discussions about the emails on Reddit Forums and Twitter is rife with speculation as to whether the emails are a scam. It’s likely that some recipients filed a claim so long ago that they simply forgot about it.

All this makes me feel bad. Can I just unsubscribe from Equifax?

Ironically, no. Although credit bureaus collect and share sensitive data from millions of people, they usually do so without your permission. Instead, they get your information from banks, lenders, public databases, and other sources of information. (You can learn more about the process) here.) About the best thing you can do is a freeze on your creditwhich can prevent fraudsters from opening new accounts in your name.

So I’m a lifetime Equifax customer whether I like it or not?

No, you are the product.

Fine. When will my payment come?

Unfortunately, that is also a bit unclear. According to the FTC, the settlement was finalized in January this year, but it is… latest update in September did not include an estimated timeline for payments. We have asked JND to clarify this and will update this post if we hear anything.

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