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T-Mobile Customer Data Breach Settlement

In 2021, the cellular wireless network company T-Mobile experienced a major “data breach” that caused the personal information of millions of their customers to be exposed to potential hackers. A class action lawsuit was filed against T-Mobile on behalf of all wireless customers who had their information exposed. That lawsuit eventually resulted in a $350 million settlement available to all impacted customers. On this page, we will explain the story behind the T-Mobile customer data breach lawsuit and outline the details of the settlement.

Following a cyberattack in 2021 that exposed the personal information of millions of customers, T-Mobile reached a settlement of $350 million to address allegations of negligence leading to the breach. This settlement marked the second-largest in U.S. history for a data breach, with Equifax’s $700 million settlement in 2019 being the largest.

The deadline for submitting claims to be part of the substantial payout was Monday, January 23, 2023. However, shortly before this deadline, on January 19, 2023, T-Mobile disclosed another cyberattack that affected a minimum of 37 million current customers.

The 2021 T-Mobile Data Breach … What Happened and Why

In 2021, T-Mobile, one of the largest mobile network operators in the United States, became the target of a massive cyberattack, exposing sensitive customer information and eventually leading to a major class action lawsuit and settlement.

On August 15, 2021, T-Mobile publicly acknowledged that it had fallen victim to a substantial attack. The initial reports from T-Mobile attempted to understate the extent and nature of the breach. T-Mobile’s official statement downplayed the severity, stating that only approximately 850,000 people had their names, addresses, and PINs compromised.

Court filings later revealed a staggering contrast to T-Mobile’s official figures. It was eventually learned that the data breach impacted approximately 76.6 million individual T-Mobile customers. This vast disparity between the company’s disclosure and the actual scope of the incident raised eyebrows and led to serious concerns.

The compromised customer information included not only names, addresses, and PINs but potentially sensitive details that could be exploited for identity theft and other malicious activities.  The incident had immediate consequences for T-Mobile, prompting swift action from regulatory authorities.

T-Mobile Data Breach Lawsuits

Very soon after the data breach occurred, T-Mobile was hit with a wave of consumer class action lawsuits in courts across the country. The lawsuits alleged that T-Mobile was negligent in failing to adequately protect the privacy and security of sensitive customer information. In May 2022, the T-Mobile data breach lawsuits were consolidated into a class action MDL.

Global Settlement

In July 2022, just a few months after the class action MDL was created, T-Mobile and plaintiffs lawyers agreed to a global settlement in which T-Mobile would pay a total of $350 million to settle customer claims. As part of the deal, T-Mobile also agreed to invest $150 million to upgrade its cybersecurity.

A settlement claims program was created for the disbursement of the $350 million set aside to cover T-Mobile customer claims. Millions of T-Mobile customers received notices in the mail indicating that they might be eligible to participate in the settlement program.

Who Was Eligible for T-Mobile Settlement

Typically, those eligible for the T-Mobile data breach settlement included individuals who were affected by the breach and whose personal information, such as names, addresses, and PINs, was compromised. The settlement aimed to provide compensation to those whose data was exposed due to T-Mobile’s alleged negligence. An estimated 76 million people were potentially eligible to receive compensation under the settlement agreement.

To determine eligibility, individuals were required to review the terms of the settlement and file a claim within the specified deadline. This process often involved providing proof or documentation to establish that the claimant was indeed affected by the data breach.

What Did T-Mobile Customers Get Paid Under the Settlement?

All T-Mobile customers who filed claims were eligible for a minimum $25 cash payment, and California residents were entitled to $100. Any customers who could prove that they actually had to spend time or money to recover from fraud or identity theft relating to the breach, could be reimbursed up to $25,000.

To qualify for this increased level of payment, however, claimants were required to submit “reasonable documentation” supporting their claim. Reasonable documentation meant credit card statements, bank statements, invoices, telephone records, and receipts. Affidavits or statements were not enough.

When Was the Deadline for T-Mobile Data Breach Settlement Claims?

The deadline for all customers to submit claims and be eligible to participate or get money in the T-Mobile data breach settlement was January 23, 2023. That deadline has now passed, so it’s too late to submit a claim.

According to the claim administrator, only 2 million people actually submitted claims under the T-Mobile settlement program. This is only a small percentage of the estimate 76 million that were notified.