Target 2 Consumer Alert: $700 million Equifax settlement

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Target 2 Consumer Alert followed up on a major announcement this week about a $700 million Equifax settlement.

The Equifax hack is one of the largest to threaten private information. This week the Federal Trade Commission announced the Credit Reporting Bureau will pay $700.

You might never have used Equifax yourself, but they could have your information from lenders, banks, and credit card companies. Equifax is one of three major credit bureaus that track and rate consumer credit. It is headquartered in Atlanta.

A cyber-attack went undetected for more than six weeks in the summer of 2017. It exposed personal information for nearly 150 million people, including social security and drivers' license numbers, in some cases credit card numbers.

About 56% of Americans were affected. Here's the website where you can go to file a claim:

The site was set up by the group that handles the claims. You have six months to file and the deadline is January 2020. If you don't know if you're affected, you can check the website.

You enter your last name and the last six digits of your social security number.

Here's what's included in the settlement: Up to 10 years of free credit monitoring. If you don't want that you could get $125 payment. You can also get up to $20,000 dollars if you had losses, but don't think you'll automatically get that big refund. You'll need documentation of unauthorized charges to your account and proof of your expenses.

One note -- being a victim of this data breach doesn't automatically make you a victim of identity theft but it does increase your risk of new accounts being open in your name.

It's important that you stay on top of your credit reports.