Having a Yahoo account may finally benefit you. You may be aware that Yahoo sustained massive data breaches between 2012 and 2016, for which it faced class-action lawsuits. Now as part of Yahoo’s data breach settlement, the internet company wants to compensate you. However, not all users are eligible. To find out if Yahoo owes you money and if so, how to claim money from Yahoo, continue reading.
Does Yahoo owe you money?
Yahoo sustained at least two massive data breaches between 2012 and 2016, wherein about 3 billion private Yahoo accounts were compromised. Hackers were able to get their hands on birth dates, passwords, names, email addresses, answers to security questions and telephone numbers.
If you were among those whose account was compromised, then you may get up to $358 in compensation. However, there are a few conditions that you must meet in order to qualify for Yahoo’s data breach settlement.
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First, of course, is that you had a Yahoo account anytime between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2016. Additionally, if you were sent a notice of the data breaches in 2016 or 2017, you can be a member of the settlement. The accounts that qualify as Yahoo accounts are Yahoo Mail or an account with Flickr, Tumblr, Yahoo Fantasy Sports or any other Yahoo-owned online services.
Second, you must either be a resident of the U.S. or Israel to be part of the $117.5 million settlement fund.
If you meet the above two requirements, then Yahoo owes you money. If you want to confirm whether or not Yahoo owes you money, residents of the U.S. and Israel can contact the settlement administrator. Thereafter, you will have to fill out the contact form. Once confirmed that you are part of the settlement, you can proceed to claim money from Yahoo.
How to claim money from Yahoo
To claim money from Yahoo, you will have to fill out the claim form on this website. The website has different options for different users, such as for general-account holders, small-business users, paid users and Israeli users. For more information, you can refer to the instructional videos, which are available in different languages, including English, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic and Russian.
The claim form is pretty straightforward. You need to enter your personal information and provide details on the type of Yahoo account you had. You will also have to enter the name and activation dates of any identity-protection service you were or are using.
Yahoo’s data breach settlement form may be straightforward, but to get the full $358 in the settlement, you will have to do a lot of paperwork and spend a lot of time (detailed below). The final date for submitting the claim forms — either online or postmarked by mail — is July 20, 2020.
How much to expect inYahoo’s data breach settlement
Let’s discuss the compensation you should expect. Not many Yahoo account holders will actually qualify for the cash compensation. As default compensation, Yahoo is offering two years of credit monitoring and identity protection service provided by AllClearID.
If you are an Israeli resident, then there is good news for you. Israeli residents will not be offered a credit monitoring service. Rather, they can apply for cash compensation directly.
U.S. residents can apply for cash only after stating that they are already using an identity-protection service. Such users will need to provide the name of the identity-protection provider and the date when the service was activated. They also need to give the end date of the service.
It is not mandatory that you paid for the identity-protection service. For example, an identity-protection subscription given to you as a compensation for any other data breach will also qualify you for the cash settlement. However, in such a case, the maximum cash you will be eligible for is $100, and only if there is enough money left in the compensation fund. Most Israeli applicants will also fall into this group.
On the other hand, U.S. users who paid for the identity-protection service from their own pocket will qualify for the cost of the service compensation under the “documentation of harm” section of the claim form.
To qualify for the remaining $258 (provided there are enough funds left) you must have had a paid Yahoo account during the five-year qualification period and also be covered under the “documentation of harm” section. This is applicable to both U.S. and Israeli residents. You will be entitled to a 25% refund of the Yahoo subscription fees you paid, but to get that, you must fill in the paid-account claim form and not the general one.
The “documentation of harm” part will get you the maximum cash compensation. It is the same for both general and paid-account claim forms. To get this, you will have to work hard as you will have to prove that you incurred personal expenses or time loss due to the Yahoo data breaches. To support your loss, you can attach bank statements, IRS letters, receipts, tax returns, credit card statements and more.