Billions of emails sent daily are spam, making up 85% of all email traffic. So, when you receive something that seems fishy, our instinct is to delete them. Tap or click here to see the big mistake getting you more spam emails and texts.
On rare occasions, legitimate emails could be flagged as spam by email distribution software. The communication goes straight to the trash folder or remains in limbo in the junk pile.
The spam threat has millions of Americans worried about an email sent by Equifax with settlement details. Keep reading to find out if it can be trusted.
Here’s the backstory
The Equifax data breach reported in July 2017 is one of the worst of all time. Critical information was stolen from over 147 million Americans, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses.
Soon after, the company faced many lawsuits and countless mediation meetings. It took almost three years for Equifax and the victim’s lawyers to reach an agreement for settlement.
In the end, the parties decided that victims could receive up to $125 in compensation or credit monitoring for four years through Experian. The deadline for making that decision was Jan. 22, 2020.
Note: With so many victims potentially choosing the cash option, $125 was unrealistic. The payout is most likely a few dollars at best.
And that is where the latest Equifax email comes in. It took two years for the first batch of emails to hit inboxes late last month. The email claimed it took so long because appeals delayed the implementation of the settlement.
The vital thing about this email is that it’s a legitimate communication from Equifax. So you’ll get the email if you selected credit monitoring instead of the money. The correspondence details the following steps and includes an activation code for Experian.
How to take advantage of the Equifax settlement
The FTC verified the email’s legitimacy and that the settlement became final in January 2022. It went on to say the settlement administrator recently began sending emails and letters to people who filed a valid claim requesting free credit monitoring services from the settlement.
The FTC offered these tips:
- Eligible claimants will get free membership in Experian IdentityWorks for four years.
- This service is free for you. You do not need to provide any payment information to enroll, and you do not need to cancel the service when it ends.
- To enroll, visit the Experian IdentityWorks website: www.experianidworks.com/equifaxsettlement, and enter the Activation Code from the email or letter you received. You can also call 1-877-251-5822.
- You must use the Activation Code by June 27, 2022. Your activation code will not work after this date.
- Legitimate emails about this settlement will come from Equifax Breach Settlement Administrator <email@example.com>. The administrator will not call you about the settlement, but you can reach the administrator by phone at 1-833-759-2982.
Keep in mind: Don’t assume every email you get claiming to be from Equifax is real.
Scammers will undoubtedly piggyback on these settlement emails and send spoofed versions with malicious links. That’s why it’s critical to hover your cursor over the link inside the email to verify it goes to the correct address, as shown in the FTC tips above.
Also, the official Equifax email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive a settlement email claiming to be from Equifax from a different email address, don’t trust it.