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S.C. to receive nearly $2.2M in Equifax settlement

Staff Report //July 22, 2019//

S.C. to receive nearly $2.2M in Equifax settlement

Staff Report //July 22, 2019//

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South Carolinians affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach may be eligible for a share of nearly $2.2 million allotted to the state in a settlement reached with the consumer credit reporting agency.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the settlement Monday. It includes a consumer restitution fund of up to $425 million with a $175 million payout to the 48 states involved, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Hackers exposed the data of more than 147 million consumers, or 56% of American adults, in the largest-ever breach of consumer data, according to the release from Wilson’s office. An investigation concluded that Equifax failed to maintain a reasonable security system, the release said.

Breached information included social security numbers, credit card numbers, addresses and dates of birth. More than 2,366,000 South Carolinians had personal information compromised, Wilson’s office said.

“The people of South Carolina were angry about this breach and the potential for identity theft, and rightfully so. This breach is something that Equifax could have prevented,” Wilson said in the release. “We’re confident this settlement will reimburse the people of South Carolina for any losses caused by the breach and provide free credit monitoring to help them protect themselves.”

A coalition that grew to 50 attorneys general launched a multi-state investigation into the breach. The probe found that Equifax failed to patch its software system despite knowing about a potential vulnerability and failed to replace software that monitored suspicious activity, allowing the hack to go unnoticed for 76 days.

Under settlement terms, Equifax will provide a consumer restitution fund of up to $425 million, with $300 million dedicated to consumer redress. If the $300 million is exceeded, the fund can increase by up to $125 million. The company is also offering affected customers extended credit monitoring for a total of 10 years, is taking steps to assist affected consumers and has agreed to strengthen its security policies.

Consumers eligible for redress will be required to submit claims online or by mail. Paper claims forms can also be requested by phone. Consumers can find more information, check their eligibility and file a claim on the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry. Updates about the registry launch is available at

Consumers can also call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982 for more information.

The restitution program will be conducted in connection with settlements that have been reached in multi-district class action suits filed against Equifax, as well as settlements reached with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.