SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Equifax’s data breach compromised names, addresses, birth dates, and social security numbers of 150-million people.
The credit-monitoring agency now has to pay at least $575 million to consumers, including $300 million for free credit monitoring services. Because of the frequency of these major data breaches, it’s important to check your financial statements often.
Even when you do check, you might not notice you’ve been hacked right away. Paul Mancinone a CPA at Paul Mancinone Company told 22News, “It’s alarming that a lot of the charges are small. They are small they are not huge purchases. They may get by for several months.”
In order to compensate those affected by the data breach, Equifax is offering 10 years of free credit monitoring but many people have been monitoring their credit report themselves.
Dan Lauver a Belchertown resident told 22News, “We’ve changed all of our passwords we are constantly watching our credit report we are constantly watching our bank accounts and that type of thing. It takes time, it takes energy, and we are still not sure it’s going to protect us.”
Compensation from Equifax is capped at $20,000 per person.
The hack on the credit reporting firm was the result of a combination of “human and technological error.”
You can find out if you qualify for compensation from Equifax here.