Sen. Warren demands probe into FTC over “misleading” consumer benefits under Equifax deal

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposes Equifax bill
Credits: Sen. Elizabeth Warren website

United States Senator and Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants an investigation into the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its “misleading” benefits for consumers under the Equifax data breach settlement.

Under the settlement, Equifax agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle the nationwide complaint against it. It included up to $425 million restitution fund for consumers.

Warren’s demand comes after the FTC announced that consumers who chose to claim $125 will not receive the full amount.

The Commission said “nowhere the $125” will be given to the victims of the Equifax data breach. It is encouraging consumers to choose the credit monitoring instead of the $125 cash.

In a letter to FTC Inspector General Andrew Katsaros, Warren requested an inquiry into the regulator’s “misleading public descriptions of the benefits available under its settlement with Equifax.”

The Democratic senator and presidential candidate noted that the FTC told consumers are “entitled to either four years of enrollment in “identity theft insurance and Full Service Identity Restoration Services” or an “Alternative Reimbursement Compensation of up to $125.

Warren said FTC appeared to have misinformed consumer regarding Equifax settlement

Warren also noted that the settlement allotted only $31 million for the Alternative Reimbursement Compensation and the FTC stated that it will reduce payments to pro rata basis if valid claims for the compensation exceeds the allocated amount.

The FTC” appeared to misinform consumers by failing to tell them about these potential reductions until after they had signed up for the payment,” said Warren to Katsaros.

In addition, Warren wrote, “The FTC has the authority to investigate and protect the public from unfair or deceptive acts or practices, including deceptive advertising. Unfortunately, it appears as though the agency itself may have misled the American public about the terms of the Equifax settlement and their ability to obtain the full reimbursement to which they are entitled.”

Warren wants Katsaros to determine how FTC made a series of decision that will result in millions of Americans receiving only a fraction of the $125 in compensation due to them for Equifax’s failures.