If you had a Yahoo account at any point from 2012 through the end of 2016, you can now apply for credit monitoring services or cash as part of a proposed $117.5 million data breach settlement.
For the first option, the settlement fund will offer at least two years of credit monitoring services by AllClear ID.
To go with the cash option instead, you must verify that you already have credit monitoring and will keep it for at least a year.
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Those who opt-in for the money could expect "less than $100" or possibly up to $358.80, depending on how many people sign up.
There's an even bigger payout if you can document out-of-pocket loses that you suffered or continue to face because of the data breaches. You could get reimbursed up to $25,000.
As the frenzy of interest in the Equifax data breach settlement showed earlier this year, though, be prepared for the possibility of a smaller payout should you go the cash route.
The settlement website warns that "nobody can know in advance how much the payment will be."
The fund only covers residents of the United States or Israel. It also applies to people who had Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr and Flickr accounts during the relevant period. Either way, you have to file a claim to get the goods.
Here's what else you should know:
When is the deadline to file a claim for the Yahoo data breach settlement?
The deadline to file a claim for credit monitoring services or an alternative compensation claim (the cash option) is July 20, 2020. The deadline to file an out-of-pocket costs claim is also July 20. The deadlines are the same whether online or by postmarked mail.
How do I file a claim?
You can also reach out to have a form mailed to you by calling (844) 702-2788 or by emailing info@YahooDataBreachSettlement.com.
Here is where you should mail your claim form: In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Breach Security Litigation, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 1760, Philadelphia, PA, 19105-1760.
How do I know if I'm part of the settlement class?
U.S. and Israeli residents who had a Yahoo account from Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2016, are eligible. Some customers were sent a notice about the data breaches but you don't need to have that notice to apply.
Those who had other accounts owned by Yahoo during that period -- Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr, and Flickr -- are also eligible.
The settlement covers a span of four separate data breaches, including one from 2013 that affected all of Yahoo's 3 billion accounts worldwide. In that breach "names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and security questions and answers of Yahoo account holders" were all compromised. A similar breach affected 500 million user accounts the following year. Learn more here.
If you still wonder whether you were affected, you can call (844) 702-2788 or fill out a contact form here.
What if I want to object to the settlement?
The deadline to object in writing to the settlement or amount of attorney's fees is March 6, 2020. There a number of things you must include along with your objection. Here's the list of what's required. You can also exclude yourself from the settlement, which is the only to keep the right to sue in the future over this issue. The deadline for this is also March 6.
When will I get the money or credit monitoring?
Sometime after a "final fairness hearing" on April 2, 2020, that will take place in a San Jose, California, courtroom. The court will then decide whether to approve the settlement. You can check back on the settlement page for an update. The case is being overseen by Judge Lucy H. Koh.