Two years ago, we asked this question: Will the Equifax pain ever end?
We can now say that the answer is “Nope, probably not”.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last week said that just one week after it put up a site for people to check whether their data was exposed in the 2017 mega-breach, e-scum have put up bogus Equifax settlement claim sites.
At the legitimate FTC site, people can file a claim for benefits available under the settlement that the FTC and others reached with Equifax. An estimated 147 million potential claimants may be eligible for up to $425 million in compensation from the settlement.
The FTC says that in order to make sure you’re not handing over your personal data to crooks, start your claim at the official website: ftc.gov/Equifax.
Beware of fake websites claiming to be the Equifax settlement claims website. To be sure you are going to the legitimate site, you can access it from the @ftc’s Equifax page: https://t.co/6Dz4lQYEf2 pic.twitter.com/1qDV3xyYSn— FTC (@FTC) July 29, 2019
Important notes from the FTC: You never have to pay to file a claim to get benefits from the settlement, so if somebody tries to call and talk you into filing a fee for a claim, they’re a scammer for sure.
Once you’re on the official settlement website, you can determine if you’re an eligible claimant. You might shudder at having to hand over personal details, but you will have to enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number (SSN). If the site tells you your personal information was affected by the data theft, you can go ahead and file a claim.
Take note of the URL for the administrator’s site to make a claim for compensation and upload supporting documents: it’s https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/. That’s the only official website.
You can mail your claim, if you prefer: download and print the designated form, fill it out and send it with any supporting documents to:
Equifax Data Breach Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91318
Seattle, WA 98111-9418