Sep 25, 2019 Equifax Data Breach Update: Make a claim today
Two years ago, one of the big four credit reporting agencies, Equifax, announced it experienced a security breach. The breach resulted in criminals accessing personal information of approximately 147 million Americans between May and July of 2017. The compromised data included names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, and dates of birth. In some instances, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and credit dispute information were also compromised. This information is nearly everything that is needed to open an account in your name.
This year, Equifax settled with the US Federal Trade Commission over its 2017 data breach. The settlement of up to $700 million includes at least $380,500,000 into a consumer restitution fund. With so many Americans affected, you could qualify for some form of compensation as a result of the settlement.
While our office does not have a direct relationship with Equifax, due to the sheer size of the breach, we wanted to reach out.
First, visit the Equifax breach settlement website at https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/Eligibility to determine whether you have been impacted.
If you are impacted, the settlement provides a way to help protect yourself from unauthorized use of your personal information. Settlement Class members may submit a claim to enroll in at least four (4) years of three-bureau credit monitoring services, provided by Experian, at no cost. These services include the following features:
- Three-bureau credit monitoring giving notice of changes to your credit report at all three national credit bureaus;
- Up to $1 million in insurance coverage costs related to identity theft or fraud;
- Real-time notification of credit inquiries and other notifications;
- On-demand online access to a free copy of one-bureau credit report, updated monthly;
- CyberAgent® Dark Web Monitoring that monitors internet activity for the trading or selling of your personal information;
- Customer support provided by Experian; and
- Many other features described here.
Not interested in free credit monitoring? You may also file your claim and receive up to the amount of $125 (Once you indicate and provide proof of having a credit monitoring service already). Depending on the number of claims, that amount could be less.
Other cash payments include compensation of up to $20,000 for remedying fraud, identity theft, misuse of personal information caused by the data breach, purchasing credit monitoring, or freezing credit reports. Compensation includes any out of pocket losses and time spent as a result of the Equifax Data Breach.
Know Your Rights
If you are a member of the settlement class but do not want to remain, you may exclude or “opt-out” of the settlement class. By taking this action, you will lose any right to participate in the settlement, including any right to receive the benefits outlined in the Notice. However, if you decide on this option, you may keep any rights you have, if any, against Equifax. Preserving your rights means you may file a lawsuit against Equifax based upon the same legal claims asserted in this lawsuit. However, you will need to find an attorney at your own cost to represent you in that lawsuit.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement Agreement you must mail a “request for exclusion” postmarked no later than 11/19/2019.
You may need to keep the following are the dates in mind:
- Oct. 15, 2019 – You must either verify or amend your claim for alternative compensation.
- Nov. 19, 2019 – Object or comment on the settlement
- Nov. 19, 2019 – Exclude yourself from the settlement
- Jan. 22, 2020 – File a claim for Out of Pocket Losses or Time Spent (Current losses and time)
- Jan. 22, 2020 – File a claim for Credit Monitoring Services or Alternative reimbursement Compensation
- Jan. 22, 2020 – File a claim for Equifax subscription Product Reimbursement
- Jan. 22, 2024 – File a claim for Out of Pocket Losses or Time Spent (Future losses and time)
What to Consider:
Starting in 2020, Equifax is offering six free credit reports to all Americans for 7 years. Several companies also provide similar services for a fee. Please note that credit monitoring does not prevent ID theft; it only alerts you when events occur that may impact your credit.
- If you believe your information is compromised, contact our office to discuss options to protect your investment accounts further.
- Be on high alert for impersonators or phishing attempts by fraudsters. Be on the lookout for emails that appear to be from these companies, telling you that you’ve been impacted, or otherwise creating a sense of urgency, and to “click here” for more information. When in doubt, do not click the link. Any legitimate company will have another way for you to contact them to be sure the email is safe.
We will remain on a high level of alert for any unauthorized account activity. We will continue our high level of verbal client authentication before any changes made on your account.
As always, thank you for your trust. If you have any additional concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out directly.
Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors, PLLC is not a law firm. This post is for informational purposes only. Please consult with an attorney regarding any legal action.
Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors, PLLC (“LRIA”), is an SEC registered investment adviser located in the State of Washington. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. For information pertaining to the registration status of LRIA, please contact LRIA or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (www.adviserinfo.sec.gov).
This is provided for general information only and contains information that is not suitable for everyone. As such, nothing herein should be construed as the provision of specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass. This newsletter contains information derived from third party sources. Although we believe these third-party sources to be reliable, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party incorporated herein and take no responsibility therefore.
Any projections, forecasts and estimates, including without limitation any statement using “expect” or “believe” or any variation of either term or a similar term, contained here are forward-looking statements and are based upon certain current assumptions, beliefs and expectations that LRIA considers reasonable or that the applicable third parties have identified as such. Forward-looking statements are necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions or beliefs underlying the forward-looking statements will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results or outcomes. Some important factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements include, among others, changes in interest rates and general economic conditions in the U.S. and globally, changes in the liquidity available in the market, change and volatility in the value of the U.S. dollar, market volatility and distressed credit markets, and other market, financial or legal uncertainties. Consequently, the inclusion of forward-looking statements herein should not be regarded as a representation by LRIA or any other person or entity of the outcomes or results that will be achieved by following any recommendations contained herein. While the forward-looking statements here reflect estimates, expectations and beliefs, they are not guarantees of future performance or outcomes. LRIA has no obligation to update or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic conditions or other circumstances arising after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of events (whether anticipated or unanticipated), even if the underlying assumptions do not come to fruition. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice and do not necessarily take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or particular needs of all investors.
For additional information about LRIA, including fees and services, please contact us for our Form ADV disclosure brochure using our contact information herein. Please read the disclosure brochure carefully before you invest or send money.