Yahoo users can now file a claim for a piece of the $117.5 million class-action settlement related to massive data breaches.
If you had a Yahoo account between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016 – including traditional Yahoo email or accounts on Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Yahoo Finance, Tumblr and Flickr – you can get two years of free credit monitoring services by AllClear ID or up to $358.
The website to file a claim is www.yahoodatabreachsettlement.com, and the deadline to file is July 20, 2020.
To get a cash payment, which may be $100 or less, you have to verify you already have credit monitoring or protection services and say you will keep them by filing an "Alternative Compensation Claim," according to frequently asked questions on the settlement website.
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The amount for alternative compensation payments is listed as $100 on the website with a note that the "amount could decrease if the amount of all valid claims exceeds the amount of the Settlement Fund, or the payment could increase to as high as $358.80 if there are remaining funds after all claims for Out-of-Pocket Costs, Paid User Costs, and Small Business User Costs are paid."
The website notes "nobody can know in advance how much the payment will be."
But based on past class action settlements, it is expected to be less than initially announced.
In July when the Equifax settlement was announced and the website to submit claims launched, consumers were told they could receive free credit monitoring for 10 years or up to $125.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, because the response to the settlement "has been overwhelming," consumers will get "nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed."
The free credit monitoring services in the Equifax settlement has also changed and the website now says it will provide "at least 4 years of three-bureau credit monitoring" and that consumers "can also get up to 6 more years of free one-bureau credit monitoring through Equifax."
Who is affected?
If you had a Yahoo account during the time frame, your information was affected. In August 2013, "malicious actors were able to gain access to Yahoo’s user database and took records for all existing Yahoo accounts," which was approximately 3 billion, according to the settlement website.
Records taken included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, passwords, and security questions and answers of Yahoo account holders, according to the settlement website.
The website outlines smaller breaches in the time frame including a 2014 incident revealed two years later, when Yahoo said information from at least half a billion accounts was stolen.
Filing a claim
There are two ways to file a claim. You can file online at www.yahoodatabreachsettlement.com or by mail. If by mail, you can download and print the claim form, fill it out and mail it with any supporting documentation.
You also can request a claim form be mailed to you by calling 1-844-702-2788 or emailing info@YahooDataBreachSettlement.com.
Fill out your claim form and mail it (including postage) to: In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Breach Security Litigation, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 1760, Philadelphia, PA, 19105-1760.
The deadline to file is July 20, 2020. If you want to be excluded from the settlement, you need to send a written request postmarked no later than March 6.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yahoo data breach $117.5 million settlement: Get cash or monitoring