When a data breach occurs, it’s often a massive catastrophe for those involved. Not only can the ordeal lead to widespread crimes like identity theft and fraud, but victims often incur financial pitfalls and lost time for their troubles. Because of this, it’s no wonder that affected parties are so adamant that justice is served against those responsible for the breach and related crimes.
Well, for those affected by the unprecedented Equifax breach of 2017, the score is about to be settled. The FTC and Equifax have finally agreed to compensate millions of Americans that had their data leaked — with some even qualifying for thousands of dollars in reimbursements for costs incurred after the attack.
While nothing can give back the time and energy that victims spent fighting breach-related crimes, this settlement is a major step in the right direction. If you, or a loved one, found yourselves in the crosshairs of the Equifax breach, here’s how you can find out if you’re eligible to make a claim in this extraordinary case.
What did the FTC and Equifax agree to?
On July 22, the FTC announced that Equifax has agreed to pay $575 million as part of a settlement related to the massive 2017 data breach that saw millions of customer’s data leaked to the internet. This breach has regularly been described as one of the worst in history — with many of the victims unaware that their data was even hosted by Equifax.
As an entity established to assess creditworthiness, Equifax enjoyed privileged access to private consumer data. To make it easier for its affiliates to run credit reports, this data was hosted on servers owned by the company — servers which fell victim to cyberattacks.
This meant that wide swathes of consumers had their data leaked online at no fault of their own, with several even falling victims to fraud, identity theft, and other cybercrimes in the process.
Information leaked in the breach included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, payment card numbers, and expiration dates.