Ditch the Pitch
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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) wants to make consumers aware that the deadline to file a claim in the Equifax data breach settlement is on January 22, 2020. If you have not already checked to see if you were affected by the breach, visit Equifax’s lookup tool. If you were included in the breach, here’s what to do:
• Visit the settlement website. You will be able to file a claim through this website, see frequently asked questions and check the status of your claim.
• Check your credit reports. Go to annualcreditreport.com to get a FREE copy of each credit report and check them for any suspicious activity.
• Keep monitoring your accounts. This includes financial, medical and government benefit statements. Look for suspicious activity and report it as soon as possible.
Benefits from the settlement include free credit monitoring services, payment for time spent remedying identity theft and identity restoration services. All the benefits are offered for free, estimated to cost Equifax over $575 million.
All consumers can take advantage of this settlement, even if your information was not included in the breach. Equifax has agreed to provide all consumers six free credit reports a year for seven years. You don’t even need to file a claim, just visit Equifax’s website or call 1 (888) 548-7878 to find out how to get the additional reports.
Consumers who believe they are the victim of a security breach, scam or identity theft are encouraged to seek guidance from SCDCA’s Identity Theft Unit. Call (844) TELL DCA (835-5322) or fill out an ID Theft Intake form by visiting www.consumer.sc.gov and clicking on Report Identity Theft.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 1 (800) 922-1594.