In September 2017 Equifax, the consumer credit reporting agency, admitted that it had suffered a cyber-security breach of its system which had compromised the personal data of some 147 million customers in the United States alone. That translates to roughly 1 in 3 Americans having their full names, addresses and social security numbers exposed.
A few weeks ago the agency came to an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to provide a settlement package that will reimburse up to $425 million to those around the world affected by the breach.
Those who were affected can file claims for free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services, and can also file claims for up to $20,000 each as compensation for such expenses as accountants’ fees and losses from unauthorized charges to their accounts.
Most of us won’t even be aware that our data was affected but you can check to see if that is the case here: https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/Eligibility.
If you find that your data was part of the breach you can file a claim there and then simply by following the directions on that website.