Is a viral email about the Equifax settlement legit? Will everyone get the $125 cash payout?
The email is authentic, according to a Federal Trade Commission spokesperson. Nobody will likely get $125, that's because more people opted to take the cash payout than anticipated, FTC said.
Federal Trade Commission spokesperson
Remember the massive data breach that affected 147 million people two years ago? Well, Equifax is trending again on twitter, over an email about the settlement.
In July, Equifax gave people a choice to either sign up for credit monitoring or take $125 cash.
Problem number one: some are reporting no one will get that much money. Problem number two: some people who picked the cash got an email saying you have to verify you had some other form of credit monitoring, and that it will last for 6 more months.
Warning: the following may contain offensive language
The email says if you don’t verify credit monitoring by Oct. 15, your claim will be denied.
We’re verifying: is this email legit, and will anyone actually get the full $125?
We called and emailed the settlement administrator in charge of the Equifax breach, but they did not respond to our requests. The Federal Trade Commission, the agency in charge of communicating with the public about the settlement, did.
"For those who have already submitted claims for this cash payment, look for an email from the settlement administrator," Juliana Gruenwald, a spokesperson for the FTC, said. "They’ll be asking you for the name of the credit monitoring service you already have. Or, if you want to change your mind, you’ll have a chance to switch to the free credit monitoring. The email from the settlement administrator will tell you what to do next, in either case. And the settlement administrator has said that the claims website will soon be updated with that information, too.”
As far as cash payouts to consumers, the FTC says it’s nowhere near one hundred twenty five bucks.
They say Equifax was ordered to set aside $31 million for the 147 million people affected by the breach. Yet, more people than expected opted for cash.
That means if every person files a claim for the payout, you'd wind up with 21 cents. If even a quarter of the folks, 36.75 million, opted for the payout, each person you get less than a dollar.
So we can Verify yes, the email is legit, and nobody is getting $125.
The FTC is urging people to opt for the free credit monitoring service instead.
Since WUSA9 started asking the FTC about the email, they have updated their website regarding the settlement to read:
"If you were affected by the breach, you may get an email letting you know that you are eligible to apply for benefits. The email provides details about the settlement. If you’re not sure the email is real, simply visit the settlement website to see if you are affected by the breach and file a claim. Use links from this page to the settlement website—they’re legit."