No, that email from Yahoo isn’t fake, and yes, the web services provider could owe you $358 or more as part of a class action settlement.
According to the company, hackers obtained Yahoo account user information between 2012 and 2016, including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and security questions and answers of Yahoo account holders.
According to the website for the settlement — where users can find out if they are part of the settlement class — there were four separate incidents from 2012 to 2016:
- 2012 data security intrusions: Two different actors accessed the company’s internal systems, but there is no evidence that user information was taken.
- 2013 data breach: Hackers gained access to Yahoo’s user database and took records for about 3 billion accounts worldwide.
- 2014 data breach: Hackers were again able to gain access to Yahoo’s user database and take records of about 500 million accounts worldwide.
- 2015 to September 2016 data breach: Hackers bypassed the need for a user account by creating “forged cookies” that provided them with access to user accounts, affecting 32 million accounts.
If you held an account between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016 and are a resident of the U.S. or Israel, you are part of the settlement class and can file a claim for part of the $117.6 million settlement fund.
Qualifying Yahoo accounts include Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr and Flickr. Claims must be submitted by July 20, 2020.
Read Next: Equifax Data Breach Could Have Been Avoided
Yahoo, which announced the terms of the settlement and option for a cash payment last month, comes shortly after a similar settlement at Equifax, which settled for $425 million to help people affected by the data breach and offered up to $125 per person, but that has since changed.
According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the public response to that settlement has been overwhelming and there is only $31 million available for those who would rather take cash than free credit monitoring. As such, each person taking the money option would get a very small amount.
The free credit monitoring and $1 million of identity theft insurance provides better value at hundreds of dollars per year, the FTC said.
If you were hoping to get some free cash from Yahoo, take the Equifax case into consideration.
What can class members get out of the Yahoo lawsuit?
- Credit monitoring services
- Alternative cash payment of $100, which could decrease if the amount of all valid claims exceeds the amount of the settlement fund; or increase to as high as $358.80 if there are remaining funds after other costs are paid
- If you spent time or money to address fraud or identity theft, you can file a claim for reimbursement up to $25,000.
- If you paid for premium Yahoo account or Small Business User email service, you could get a refund of up to 25 percent of the amount paid.