Yahoo! You may be eligible for $100 in compensation as part of a class-action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit is over a number of serious data breaches at Yahoo that took place over several years affecting users.
Yahoo is close to settling the multimillion-dollar lawsuit. In an email announcing the expected settlement, Yahoo said those affected by the breaches also have the option to get free credit monitoring.
We'll tell you about the series of data breaches that hit the company and how you can claim your $100.
Class-action suit almost settled
In an email sent to users, Yahoo declared it has received preliminary approval from a court for a $117.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit over a series of data breaches that took place between 2012 and 2016. If you had a Yahoo account during those years you could be eligible for $100 in compensation or free credit monitoring.
In the email, Yahoo also provided details about each data breach:
2012 — Two separate hackers accessed Yahoo’s internal systems but didn’t take anything.
2013 — Hackers got into Yahoo's database and took records from about 3 billion users' accounts. The breach could have been much worse as the hackers could have gotten into users’ email accounts, calendars and contacts.
2014 — Hackers once again got into Yahoo’s user database and stole the names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birthdays, passwords, and security questions and answers from about 500 million accounts.
2015-2016 — Hackers used cookies to infiltrate about 32 million email accounts.
How to get your money
If you had a Yahoo account between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016, and you are a resident of the U.S. or Israel, you are eligible to make a claim on the settlement.
Depending on circumstances, some Yahoo users could get as much as $25,000. To get that amount you would have to prove that you had to spend time or money dealing with problems caused by the hack, such as identity theft. Small businesses and those who paid for premium Yahoo services may also get more money.
If you're only eligible for the $100 and want that instead of free credit protection, you'll have to verify that you are already signed up for a credit-monitoring service. Before you get too excited though, remember what happened to Equifax users.
Millions of Americans submitted claims to get the $125 offered by Equifax as part of its $425 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over a massive data breach in 2017. Consumers stampeded to claim their $125 not knowing that there was a $31 million cap on cash claims.
The pool of money quickly shrank and consumers will have to settle for a few bucks or opt for free credit monitoring instead. The same thing could happen with Yahoo.
But if you want to try your luck on the cash, visit the Yahoo claim website and fill out the claim form that applies to you. You have until July 20, 2020, to stake your claim.
Protecting your bank account in the wake of data breaches
The name “Equifax” now sends shivers down our spines. The company we once trusted to handle our credit scores has become a pariah of the financial world, ever since Equifax allowed hackers to steal vital information from 145 million American adults.