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The FTC has some advice for those whose personal data was compromised by the Equifax breach

August 2, 2019 | Education, News, Security

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This is via our state trade association — the Wisconsin Credit Union League …

The FTC points out that 147 million people are entitled to benefits under last week’s settlement of the September 2017 Equifax data breach. Those whose data was compromised can choose either:

  • 4-6 years of free credit monitoring service, or
  • a cash payment of up to $125 – but only if the person already has credit monitoring in place with at least six months remaining in the service.

The FTC’s advice to consumers? Think about opting for the free credit monitoring instead of the cash payment. “Frankly, the free credit monitoring is worth a lot more – the market value would be hundreds of dollars a year. And this monitoring service is probably stronger and more helpful than any you may have already, 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.”

On the other hand, the FTC says, nobody will end up getting $125 from the cash payment option. The pot of money that pays for that part of the settlement is only $31 million. The large number of claims already filed for the cash option means that each will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed. The FTC’s full post on this topic is available at this link: Equifax data breach: Pick free credit monitoring.

Think of the enormous benefit that many of your credit union members can get from 4-6 years of free credit monitoring! And protecting members from identity theft reduces claims against the credit union for unauthorized transactions.

Consumers can easily check whether they are affected by the data breach at this Equifax website. They can access more information and file their claims at this link: Equifax Data Breach Settlement Website. It includes details on additional benefits under the settlement for consumers who have actually suffered harm as a result of the Equifax data breach.

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