Equifax Data Breach and Consumer Information
Data Breach Incident
In September 2017, Equifax experienced a data breach that affected approximately 147 million individuals (Equifax Security 2017). This breach exposed sensitive personal information, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth.
Class Action Settlement
Following the data breach, lawsuits were filed against Equifax by affected consumers (Equifax Breach Settlement). In response, a class action Settlement was approved to resolve these legal claims. Equifax denied any wrongdoing, but the Settlement provides compensation options for eligible individuals.
The Settlement offers several compensation options for consumers affected by the data breach. These options include:
- Free credit monitoring services
- Up to $125 cash payment for claims filed during the Initial Claims Period
The amount of cash payment may be reduced depending on the number of valid claims submitted by other class members.
Extended Claims Period
An Extended Claims Period was established for individuals who experienced out-of-pocket losses or time spent between January 23, 2020, and January 22, 2024, as a result of the data breach. Claims for reimbursement of these losses had to be filed by January 22, 2024 (Equifax Breach Settlement).
Additional Protective Measures
In addition to the compensation options, the Settlement also requires Equifax to implement enhanced security measures to prevent future data breaches. These measures include:
- Investing in cybersecurity infrastructure
- Improving data security practices
- Providing consumers with tools to monitor and protect their credit
What shows on Equifax?
What information does Equifax have about me?
Equifax collects and maintains a variety of personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and credit history.
How can I get a copy of my Equifax credit report?
You can request a free copy of your Equifax credit report once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com.
What should I do if I find errors on my Equifax credit report?
If you find any errors on your Equifax credit report, you should contact Equifax immediately to dispute the errors. You can do this online, by mail, or by phone.
How can I protect my personal information from being compromised in a data breach?
There are a number of steps you can take to protect your personal information from being compromised in a data breach, including using strong passwords, being cautious about what information you share online, and monitoring your credit reports for suspicious activity.
What should I do if I am a victim of identity theft?
If you are a victim of identity theft, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) and file a police report.
How can I freeze my Equifax credit report?
You can freeze your Equifax credit report by contacting Equifax at 1-800-685-1111 or online at www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services.
How can I lock my Equifax credit report?
You can lock your Equifax credit report using Lock & Alert™. To do this, visit www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services and click on the “Lock & Alert” tab.