Equifax Cybersecurity Incident

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Did you get an email from Equifax recently? Look closely before you delete it — it might not be a scam, but a very real offer for four years of free credit monitoring.

It's been a long time since the credit bureau announced in September 2017 that a massive data breach had compromised the personal data of roughly 147 million people. It was huge news at the time, and we don't blame if you if you've forgotten ... four years, five months, and one very long pandemic later. 

Related: 20 Cheap Ways to Protect Yourself From Thieves

Soon, Equifax was the target of a massive class-action lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and all 50 U.S. states. The resulting settlement has just been finalized, and includes four years of credit monitoring for anyone whose data was compromised by the breach.

If you received an email with the subject line "Equifax Data Breach Settlement (Credit Monitoring Instructions and Activation Code)," it includes instructions on how to enroll in Experian IdentityWorks, which provides daily credit monitoring, account alerts, on-demand access to your credit report, identity theft insurance, and more. Included is an activation code you'll need to enter. The deadline to use your code is June 27, 2022. 

Related: Watch Out for These Scams Targeting Seniors

You can still visit the settlement website to determine whether you were part of the breach. The initial deadline for filing a claim was Jan. 22, 2020, but expenses related to the breach incurred from Jan. 23, 2020, through Jan. 22, 2024, are still eligible for claims. 

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