Many thought Equifax would pay them $125 upon request. Not quite.

This is a prime example of people loving the idea of getting something for nothing. Several months ago, the terms by which Equifax settled a past privacy breach went viral as simply “fill out a form, get $125.” Unfortunately, one of the terms of getting that payout was an affirmation that you were using a credit monitoring service at the time of the breach. If you weren’t using a service, the remedy is to have credit monitoring free for a fixed period.

Once the time period expired for filing claims, the court began asking claimants for the cash payout to name the credit service monitoring company they were using — which most claimants were not. Plenty of disappointed people out there who didn’t read the fine print in the beginning

If you asked Equifax for $125, you need to update your request

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If you requested money from Equifax for leaking your personal data, you’ll need to provide more information by October 15th. The Equifax settlement administrator sent an email with details over the weekend. It asks consumers to confirm that they’re actually signed up for credit monitoring, which is a prerequisite for requesting the money. If they can’t do that, they can amend their claim to request free credit monitoring. Otherwise, the claim will be denied.

Equifax settled with the Federal Trade Commission for up to $700 million in July, and it set aside $31 million for consumers who were affected by the breach. Consumers could request four years of monitoring or a $125 check. But because the total payout was fixed, the FTC soon warned that people would receive far less money. This weekend’s email reiterates that fact, warning recipients that they might get “a small percentage” of that initial claim.

If people do still want the money, they’ll need to name the credit monitoring service that they were using when they requested a check. This can be done through the official settlement site or via mail. The request is basically just asking people to offer more details about something they already claimed was true, but it will probably also effectively winnow down the large number of people who will receive payouts.

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