BURLINGTON, VT. – Attorney General TJ Donovan announced Vermont has received $1.85 million dollars in a national settlement with Equifax.
An investigation into the largest data breach found hackers exposed data of more than 147 million people. 251,000 of those people were Vermonters.
“Vermonters felt anxious and scared that their financial livelihood was on the line,” said Donovan.
The national settlement will be close to $650 million in total. $175 million will go to the states and $425 million will go to a restitution fund.
People can get compensated up to $25 an hour for up to 20 hours of time spent dealing with the breach. People can also receive up to $20,000 for out-of-pocket fees that resulted from the breach, including credit freezes or fees to address identity theft.
Equifax will also offer free credit monitoring services for 10 years and 18 years if you are an affected minor.
Donavan believes the breach raised awareness about online security.
“We live in a global digital economy, “said Donovan. “More and more of our financial traction are done online and that raised risk for scams and for these breaches.”
The attorney general’s office says they will do all they can to make sure Vermonters feel secure.
“We are going to make sure that Vermonters feel secure that when there is a breach there is accountability that there is restitution for Vermonters as in this case where it’s warranted and that we can have preventative measures in the future,” said Chris Curtis, chief of the public protection division.
Vermonters with questions can also call the Vermont Consumer Assistance Program at 1-800-649-2424