Yahoo is close to reaching a $117.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over a series of data breaches between 2012 and 2016. If you are a resident of the US or Israel and had a Yahoo account at that time you’re kind of eligible to get $100, or, more likely, a tiny fraction of $100 or free credit monitoring.
Basically, every single Yahoo account—around three billion in total—was breached between 2012 and 2016. A series of hacks were uncovered where culprits could have made off with users personal information including email accounts, calendars, contacts, phone numbers.
The tech company is now nearing the settlement and it says every user is entitled to $100 settlement or free credit monitoring. If you had a Yahoo account during the breach time frame, you can claim $100. But when you do the math, $117.5 divided by three billion does not equal $100 so if users opt for cash they will share the pool of money and get considerably less than 100 bucks.
Instead of cash, Yahoo is offering two years of free credit-monitoring services—whatever the hell that even is—to anyone who had a compromised account. If you want the money, you have to verify you already signed up for a credit-monitoring service. You can quickly sign up to a free credit-monitoring service online.
The same thing happened with the Equifax settlement — leading the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to recommend people not choose the cash option because it would likely be tiny.
Yahoo addressed this on the claim website: “Payment for such a claim may be less than $100 or more (up to $358.80) depending on how many Settlement Class Members participate in the settlement,” the company wrote.
There are a few more options if the data breaches hit you more than most: If you had to spend time or money dealing with identity theft or other problems you believe stemmed from the hacks, you can file a claim for up to $25,000 in out-of-pocket losses. Small businesses and anyone who paid for premium Yahoo mail may also be eligible for additional compensation based on what they paid for those services.
How to claim your Yahoo data breach settlement
Anyone who had a Yahoo account between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2016, and is a resident of the United States or Israel is eligible for the settlement. To file your claim, simply visit the claim website and fill out the claim form that’s relevant to you. For most people, that’s the basic account holder claim form.
If you only want the $100 claim or credit-monitoring services, you’ll just need your Yahoo username. If you want to make a bigger claim for lost time or out-of-pocket expenses due to the breach, you’ll need to upload supporting documentation, like receipts, account statements with unauthorized charges, or letters from the IRS.