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Equifax Data Breach Settlement Cash Option Warning
Last week we covered the class action settlement linked to the Equifax data breach case. The Equifax Data Breach Settlement cash option was very popular after the news broke, but that may be too good to be true. Before I go any further check out our article below with the full details and how to make a claim.
Equifax Data Breach Settlement – Government Warning
As you can tell from our title we were excited and many of you were too. You could claim $125 if your information was leaked and even more money for time! Of course this is a settlement meaning all claimants are sharing a “pot” of money so to speak meaning the more people who file a claim the less each person gets. And that seems to be happening.
The FTC is not administering the settlement, however due to its popularity they setup a website to help consumers avoid getting tricked or scammed. On the FTC website they have a listing of FAQs along with links and descriptions on how to file a claim. Thanks to reader Jared in our Facebook group for pointing this out:
Let me just point out that last line because I think it says it all:
You can still choose the cash option on the claim form, but you will be disappointed with the amount you receive and you won’t get the free credit monitoring.
Should You Choose the Cash Option?
As far as I can tell you can still choose the $125, but the government seems to be hinting that you won’t be getting much at all if you choose the Equifax Data Breach Settlement cash option. There is $31 million in money to go around which equates to 248,000 claims at $125.
So that means if only 2.48 million people make a claim you’ll get $12.50. And if 24.8 million people are eligible and choose cash (which it seems like that is a possibility) then you’ll get $1.25. Of course we don’t know how many people filed a claim and chose cash, but I would assume most did.
Change to Credit Monitoring If You Filed?
In lieu of cash claimants can receive, “free, three-bureau credit monitoring at all three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).” They also provide an additional six years of Equifax only monitoring after that.
But what happens to people who chose cash? Can they change?
It looks like everyone will receive an email with the option to change the choice of $125 cash for the Equifax Data Breach Settlement. They also indicate you’ll be asked for more information meaning there may be a hoop or two to jump through before a check arrives.
The Big Gamble
So if the government is telling everyone to take the monitoring should you stay with the cash with the hope that everyone else moves to monitoring and you’ll be rich? I would say no. A lot of people will still probably choose the money and end up with pennies or hopefully dollars.
We cover a lot of class action lawsuit settlements on Miles to Memories and none has been as popular and widespread as this one. It seems the cash portion of the settlement isn’t enough and the government wants you to get monitoring instead of a check for $2.
What do you think? Are you going to stay with the Equifax Data Breach Settlement cash option or are you going to choose credit monitoring after learning about this? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.