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That Facebook Settlement Email Supposedly Isn't Fake

By - Source: Forbes | B 27 comments

A Facebook email reading "Re: LEGAL NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION" isn't spam.

Just the other day, I received an email stating that I could receive money from Facebook thanks to a class action lawsuit filed against the social website. With the subject reading "Re: LEGAL NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION," I assumed it was the typical legal notice scam that somehow escaped the spam filter, so in the trash it went. There's always some kind of scam filling up the spam folder ranging from Runescape lawsuits to World of Warcraft lawsuits to confirmations to receive money. This seemed no different.

However, Forbes reports that it's the real deal, and not a ploy to gain access to bank accounts or some other malicious scheme. "Fraley vs. Facebook" is an actual lawsuit that stems back to 2011 when the social network decided to put users in "Sponsored Story" ads. These ads were based on what users "liked" but didn't always reflect the context in which someone "liked" something.

Three months after Facebook launched the "Sponsored Story" ads, a group of plaintiffs led by seamstress Angel Fraley sued Facebook in California, claiming that it was against the law to use their names and likenesses in ads without permission, and without payment. Fraley ended up bailing out after Facebook lawyers began digging up embarrassing material from her account, but the social website and the rest of the plaintiffs eventually settled in December for $20 million.

That leads to the current email that looks like spam. A good chunk of the settlement money mentioned in the legal notice will cover the class action lawyers, and the rest will be divided up to the Facebook users who appeared in the "Sponsored Story" ads. But don't get too excited – you'll only receive up to $10, if that. If too many people claim the settlement, then it will instead go to several non-profit organizations that deal with privacy issues. If it turns out that everyone will receive less than $5, then the money will go to the non-profits as well.

According to Forbes, court filings suggest that around 125 million Facebook users received the notice. The amount left over after the lawyers get their share will be around $12 million. If only three million people claim their price of the settlement, they will each receive payment below the $5 mark, meaning the money will likely go to the non-profits anyway. Yawn.

For more information about the settlement, head here. A copy of the email is shown below in JPG form.

 

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    surfer1337dude , January 29, 2013 9:46 PM
    Im all for FB getting sued and loosing... but whats the point when the most that each user will get is $10? In the meantime if I do something like steal 1 99cent song, I could be sued for hundreds of thousands? I'm no math expert, but something doesn't seem to add up...
  • 20 Hide
    happyballz , January 29, 2013 10:16 PM
    "Fraley ended up bailing out after Facebook lawyers began digging up embarrassing material from her account..."
    What the hell? This is a perfect reason not to ever use facebook again! That is just despicable.
  • 17 Hide
    jblack , January 29, 2013 9:40 PM
    Class Action Lawsuits are nothing more than a way to line a lawyer's pockets with money.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    jblack , January 29, 2013 9:40 PM
    Class Action Lawsuits are nothing more than a way to line a lawyer's pockets with money.
  • -4 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , January 29, 2013 9:46 PM
    jblackClass Action Lawsuits are nothing more than a way to line a lawyer's pockets with money.
    ...not always! Haven't you seen the movie "Erin Brockovich"? :D 
  • 24 Hide
    surfer1337dude , January 29, 2013 9:46 PM
    Im all for FB getting sued and loosing... but whats the point when the most that each user will get is $10? In the meantime if I do something like steal 1 99cent song, I could be sued for hundreds of thousands? I'm no math expert, but something doesn't seem to add up...
  • -3 Hide
    surfer1337dude , January 29, 2013 9:47 PM
    Correction: "steal"
  • 20 Hide
    happyballz , January 29, 2013 10:16 PM
    "Fraley ended up bailing out after Facebook lawyers began digging up embarrassing material from her account..."
    What the hell? This is a perfect reason not to ever use facebook again! That is just despicable.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , January 29, 2013 10:17 PM
    surfer1337dudeIm all for FB getting sued and loosing... but whats the point when the most that each user will get is $10? In the meantime if I do something like steal 1 99cent song, I could be sued for hundreds of thousands? I'm no math expert, but something doesn't seem to add up...
    You're not a member of the American Bar Association, that's the difference.
  • 1 Hide
    robochump , January 29, 2013 10:20 PM
    Hah, I got this email and I believe I deleted it thinking it was another scam. Then to find out days later that FB is legitimately working on the class action lawsuit.
  • 3 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 29, 2013 11:39 PM
    How do I try to claim my $10 once I have the email? I mean, I've living on cup noodles here. I ain't complainin'.
  • 1 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 29, 2013 11:43 PM
    http://www.fraleyfacebooksettlement.com/claim
    That link is for submitting a claim form; don't need to enter credit card, enter home address andhave them mail the check to you.
  • -2 Hide
    ozvip3r , January 29, 2013 11:47 PM
    surfer1337dudeIm all for FB getting sued and loosing... but whats the point when the most that each user will get is $10? In the meantime if I do something like steal 1 99cent song, I could be sued for hundreds of thousands? I'm no math expert, but something doesn't seem to add up...

    You're no spelling expert either, wtf is loosing!? Don't you guys learn how to spell basic words?
  • 4 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 29, 2013 11:51 PM
    ozvip3rYou're no spelling expert either, wtf is loosing!? Don't you guys learn how to spell basic words?

    Do you really think English is everybody's first language? It's fine to correct grammar, but why be such a jackass?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 30, 2013 12:31 AM
    Being part of the lawsuit isn;t about the money. Its to keep companies in check. If everyone turned there heads the other way because they would only get 5 dollars, then expect more companies to copy cat what facebook did in the future. Hitting companies in there checkbook is the only way to get there attention. Don't do it for the money, Do It to bring a little justice for what they did wrong.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , January 30, 2013 12:46 AM
    I got that e-mail too and read through it. At first I thought cha-ching but then I saw the $10 part I was like typical crap where we end users get the shaft while the lawyers get bulk of the money. I do agree one poster said the unclaimed money should go to a charity where it can do the most good. So I will not claim my $10.


  • 0 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 30, 2013 1:18 AM
    DarkkI got that e-mail too and read through it. At first I thought cha-ching but then I saw the $10 part I was like typical crap where we end users get the shaft while the lawyers get bulk of the money. I do agree one poster said the unclaimed money should go to a charity where it can do the most good. So I will not claim my $10.

    Better off getting the $10 and donating that... what might happen is your $10 gets taken by somebody else that claims the cash.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , January 30, 2013 2:29 AM
    HolysmokeBeing part of the lawsuit isn;t about the money. Its to keep companies in check. If everyone turned there heads the other way because they would only get 5 dollars, then expect more companies to copy cat what facebook did in the future. Hitting companies in there checkbook is the only way to get there attention. Don't do it for the money, Do It to bring a little justice for what they did wrong.


    i was going to post the same thing, class action is rarely done for a profit, its done to change a company.
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , January 30, 2013 3:52 AM
    alidani was going to post the same thing, class action is rarely done for a profit, its done to change a company.
    But in this case, 20 million is nothing to FB. Zuckerberg eats diamond-encrusted cereal and when he takes a dump he flushes 20 million down the drain. They're not afraid to air your dirty laundry either, "Facebook privacy" is an oxymoron - and this lawsuit sure as hell isn't going to change much.
  • 0 Hide
    thecolorblue , January 30, 2013 5:15 AM
    surfer1337dudeIm all for FB getting sued and loosing... but whats the point when the most that each user will get is $10? In the meantime if I do something like steal 1 99cent song, I could be sued for hundreds of thousands? I'm no math expert, but something doesn't seem to add up...

    the point is that often the only way to get a corporation to change its ways is to sue the corp in this manner. the important thing is that there be a way to impinge upon the psychopathic nature of corporations in the only language corporations understand... $$$$$. the hope is that the corp will change its behavior.

    ... that the people harmed do not get a big payoutis unimportant in most cases (this one being an example).
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , January 30, 2013 6:13 AM
    alextheblueBut in this case, 20 million is nothing to FB. Zuckerberg eats diamond-encrusted cereal and when he takes a dump he flushes 20 million down the drain. They're not afraid to air your dirty laundry either, "Facebook privacy" is an oxymoron - and this lawsuit sure as hell isn't going to change much.


    From my understanding Facebook has very little the real value, most of the value in the company is intangible, kind of like with Apple. 20 million hurts them a lot more than your thinking.
  • 0 Hide
    evilsizer , January 30, 2013 9:42 AM
    I got the email also, not worth bothering with IMO. It'll be interesting to see if FB takes all of the names of the people that file claims and deletes their accounts. They can do it, they can decide who will or will not be on FB. It's hilarious watching people get so wrapped up in social media. What will you do without your FarmVille?
  • 0 Hide
    kingnoobe , January 30, 2013 9:49 AM


    You're no spelling expert either, wtf is loosing!? Don't you guys learn how to spell basic words?

    You're obviously no English teacher. Before coming off as some condescending prick you might want to actually proof read.

    Lawyers win.. Nothing else really needs to be said.
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