July 31 (UPI) -- The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday said an "overwhelming" response to Equifax's monetary settlement for 2017's data breach means consumers may not receive the full $125 they expected.
The agency urged consumers to opt for Equifax's free credit monitoring instead of the cash payment.
Last week, the FTC announced a $575 million settlement with Equifax over the breach, which included $300 million to provide consumers with credit-monitoring services, and compensate those who purchased credit or identity-monitoring services, and had other out-of-pocket expenses.
Those not wishing to receive free credit monitoring could receive $125. The FTC said the popularity of the $125 option could mean customers will receive a smaller amount.
"The public response to the settlement has been overwhelming, and we're delighted that millions of people have visited ftc.gov/Equifax and gone on to the settlement website's claims form," the FTC said in a blog post.
"But the pot of money that pays for that part of the settlement is $31 million. A large number of claims for cash instead of credit monitoring means only one thing: Each person who takes the money option will wind up only getting a small amount of money. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn't been such an enormous number of claims filed."
The FTC encouraged customers to instead choose the free credit monitoring, and said it would allow customers who have already selected the $125 option to switch to the credit-monitoring option.
A data breach at the credit reporting agency released the personal information -- including partial driver's license numbers, names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth -- of some 147 million people in 2017.