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Catch Of The Week: Equifax Data Breach Settlement

on July 30, 2019 - 7:21pm
By BECKY RUTHERFORD
Los Alamos

Good news! If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, you may be entitled to compensation.You can receive free credit monitoring for 10+ years from three credit agencies or up to $125 in compensation instead of the credit monitoring. If you had additional expenses as a result of the breach (and have documentation to prove it), you could file a claim for up to $20,000.

How can you check if you were affected by the data breach and file? The safest way is to go directly to the FTC’s website on the Equifax data breach settlement and click the “file a claim” button to get started. Equifax does not administer the Equifax Data Breach site; it is administered by the Settlement Administrator. The direct link to the Equifax Data Breach page is here;  https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claim. You can also use this site to check if you were affected by the 2017 data breach, and if you were, use the site to file a claim.

I strongly advise you to access the site directly through the FTC’s page or from a link on a trusted, legitimate news site. Suspicious sites bearing similar domain names have already been set up, possibly to try to trick users into handing over their sensitive information; “www. equifaxbreechsettlements . com” has been registered, as has “www. equifaxbreachsetttlement .com”. These are just a few examples that I found, as has been noted by other sources, and there are more out there. Note that in one example, breach is spelled “breech” and in the other, they have added an extra “t” to settlement. Neither site is currently active, but both sites are “parked” and ready to go live. I was not able to confirm, but these sites are likely malicious.

Do not Google search for the link to the Equifax settlement site; scammers could potentially use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to make these scam sites show up at the top of your search results, before legitimate results. If typing the site into your browser bar directly, be careful that you don’t make any typos, or you could end up at the wrong site.

If you were affected by the breach, you could receive compensation, but be cautious! Make sure that you go to the correct site, and not a spoofed site. You will not receive calls or emails from Equifax about this settlement; you must go to the settlement site to register. Any calls or emails are scams.

Additional Resources:

Brian Krebs’s site “Krebs on Security” is a great resource; I highly recommend subscribing to his newsletter to stay up to date on cyber news stories. Here is his article on the Equifax data breach settlement:

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/07/what-you-should-know-about-the-equifax-data-breach-settlement/

The official FTC site on the breach:

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds/equifax-data-breach-settlement

The Equifax Data Breach Settlement site:

https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/file-a-claim

Editor’s note: Becky Rutherford works in information technology at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


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