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How to avoid scams while filing your Equifax settlement claim

Equifax Settlement
Getty Images / SOPA Images

It sounds like a scam, but it’s not: Equifax really is giving millions of people up to $125 in cash or free identity restoration services after a 2017 data breach exposed the personal information of about 147 million people.

That said, it didn’t take long for scammers to start using the settlement as a way to get your personal information. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), people have already set up copycat websites trying to bilk people into handing over private data — or even cash.

“Wouldn’t you know it? People may have already started putting up fake websites meant to look like the official Equifax settlement claims website,” wrote the FCC’s Michael Atleson on Monday. “To be sure you’re going to the right place, start at the FTC’s page:”

“A couple more things to remember. You’ll never have to pay to file a claim for these benefits. And anyone who calls and tries to get you to file a claim is almost certainly a scammer,” he added.

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:

— FTC (@FTC) July 29, 2019

What to look for if you think you’re being scammed

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set up a site last week to guide people through the process. If you were affected by the breach, you can check your eligibility and file a claim at The site is a guide to the claim itself and will direct you to the settlement site. Anything else is a scam, the FTC said.

A quick scan through Twitter and Instagram revealed more than a few posts using the settlement to promote tax services or identity protection companies, but we weren’t able to find any scam websites. Regardless, if you do decide to file a claim, be sure to double-check the domain of the website you’re in.

You should also watch out for any phishing emails claiming to be from the FTC or Equifax. It’s better to proactively go the settlement site itself to file a claim rather than risk clicking a link to a scam site.

Equifax agreed to a $575-700 million settlement with the FTC last week. In all, $300 million of the settlement will go towards credit monitoring services or cash payment.

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Mathew Katz
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Mathew is a news editor at Digital Trends, specializing in covering all kinds of tech news — from video games to policy. He…
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The court filing suggests that the inadequacies in Equifax’s encryption protocol fell short of industry standards and data security laws, going as far to say that the company “did not know what they were doing with respect to data security.”
The hack on Equifax in 2017 reportedly impacted approximately 147 million people, exposing their personal information and social security numbers.
As part of a settlement from the incident, Equifax is paying more than $300 million toward credit monitoring services for the impacted customers. It’s also compensating customers who paid out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the breach.
If you were impacted, you can apply to receive credit monitoring services or a $125 settlement via Equifax’s site now.

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