SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Millions in Georgia, South Carolina and across the country are eligible to receive benefits from the recently settled Equifax data breach lawsuit.
But the company now says those who filed claims might not get the $125 they were initially offered.
“A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money,” Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Assistant Director Robert Schoshinski wrote in a blog post.
The personal data of roughly 5.3 million in Georgia and 2.3 million in South Carolina was stolen during the 2017 data breach. Now, the FTC is working to notify the over 147 million across the country if their data was stolen.
You can visit the settlement website to see if your data was stolen, but as Schoshinski wrote, you’re encouraged to select the free credit monitoring option over the $125.
“The pot of money that pays for that part of the settlement is $31 million. A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money,” he stated, adding, “Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed.”
Schoshinski wrote that those who have submitted claims for the cash payment already should keep an eye out for an email from the settlement administrator, as they’ll be asking for the name of the credit monitoring service you have.
“Or, if you want to change your mind, you’ll have a chance to switch to the free credit monitoring,” he added. “The email from the settlement administrator will tell you what to do next, in either case.”
The FTC still has money available to reimburse those who paid out of pocket to recover from the breach.
Equifax will be paying an estimated $700 million after a settlement was reached between the FTC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories. Georgia will be receiving a little over $7 million and South Carolina will receive about $2.2 million.
It is highly encouraged you visit the settlement website to see if you were impacted.
For more info, visit the FTC to learn more about the settlement and the eligible benefits for those impacted.