Was Your Info Stolen? Here's $60

Were you affected by the Countrywide Financial data breach debacle? If so, you might be able to get $60 back in your pocket.

Almost 30,000 people in Connecticut were impacted when a former Countrywide Financial employee allegedly sold financial data, including Social Security numbers, of more than 2 million consumers across the country for thousands of dollars, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.

Bank of America bought Countrywide and will pay customers who had to fork over money from their own pockets to freeze their credit.

The credit bureaus Experian, Equifax and TransUnion charge about $10 per credit freeze and un-freeze, so each customer affected could receive about $60 from Bank of America.

“This agreement will help shield almost 30,000 Connecticut consumers from the ravages and ruin of identity theft,” Blumenthal said. “Our settlement provides consumers with powerful protection against identity theft -- freezes that foil thieves by blocking new credit in a consumer’s name.
The bank will also pay the state $350,000, Blumenthal and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell Jr. said Thursday. That money will go to the state’s General Fund.

The settlement requires Countrywide to adopt best practices for data management and security.  It also assures Connecticut residents will receive all the benefits of any settlements of private class action lawsuits above and beyond today’s agreement, Blumenthal said.

Last August, Bank of America also agreed to provide affected consumers with $25,000 of identity theft insurance and credit monitoring for two years.

To receive reimbursement, consumers should send proof of their credit freezes and un-freezes to:

The Attorney General’s Office
110 Sherman St.
Hartford, Conn. 06105
Attn.: Countrywide credit freeze

Consumers with questions should contact the Attorney General’s Office at (860) 808-5400.

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