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If you’re a victim of the notorious Equifax data hack and still waiting for that $125 in compensation from the company, you’d better check your email, and prepare for disappointment. The administrator overseeing the Equifax class-action settlement is now demanding proof from victims that they’re eligible for the money.

But don’t think of this as an attempt to keep you from getting paid. Think of it as a second chance to do the right thing.

Equifax is the huge data broker that stockpiles sensitive information about pretty much every adult American. In 2017, cyber criminals raided the company’s computers and stole information about 147 million citizens, exposing them to the risk of identity theft. In July, Equifax settled several class-action lawsuits related to the breach, agreeing to pay up to $700 million in fines, fees, and financial compensation.

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As part of the settlement, Equifax offered victims four years of free credit monitoring. Victims’s credit scores and financial activity would be constantly tracked, to prevent criminals from draining someone’s bank accounts or using a stolen identity to run up huge credit card bills.

Those who already subscribed to a credit monitoring service could instead apply for $125, to compensate them for the theft of their data. People who chose the money just had to declare that they used a credit monitoring service, without having to prove that they did.

Now the court-appointed settlement administrator is cracking down. Those who want financial compensation must provide the name of their credit monitoring service, and electronically sign a document attesting that they are a subscriber.

But Equifax is doing some people a favor by insisting on proof of credit monitoring, which makes far more sense than holding out for $125 that might never come. That’s because Equifax set a limit of $31 million on the payments, with the money to be shared equally among a pool of victims numbering in the millions. So most of them won’t receive anything like $125.

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So here’s your chance to choose an option that’s actually worth something.

Those who’ve signed up for the money should already have received an email explaining their options. Just by clicking a couple of boxes you’ll be able to abandon your quest for cash and get free credit monitoring. Or go to www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com for more information.


Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeTechLab.