Hackers Steal Millions and Put American’s Social Security Numbers at Risk

A debt collection company just experienced a massive data breach that makes your usual cases of identity theft look like child’s play. Here’s the full details.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

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Over 3 million Americans just found out their personal info is up for grabs after a massive data breach hit collection agency Financial Business and Consumer Solutions (FBCS). 

From Love Letters to Leaked Data

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Forget flowers and chocolates – on Valentine’s Day, hackers decided to gift themselves a windfall of sensitive data. 

What Did They Take?

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They broke into FBCS’ systems, making off with full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and driver’s license numbers. Initially FBCS estimated 1.9 million could be affected, but revised that number upward to 3 million in June.

Slow Disclosure

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While this news is bad, it gets worse – FBCS didn’t realize what had happened until February 26, two weeks after the event. And they waited until late April before letting anyone know about it. FBCS maintains they were busy investigating and notifying authorities.

The Year Of Data Leaks

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This event is one of the largest data breaches of the year, following the recent ransomware incident in April at the insurance group UnitedHealth.

Data Breach Scope

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The scope of the compromised data is huge. It includes names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, state IDs, medical claims, and even some medical records. While not everyone had all these details exposed, it’s still a huge amount of data to be stolen.

What Is FBCS?

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FBCS chases down people who owe customer or commercial debt, such as car loans, healthcare bills, and student loans. To try and make things right, it’s offering customers free 24-month credit monitoring and identity restoration services. 

Company Statement

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“Upon discovering this incident, we immediately took steps to conduct a diligent investigation,” the company said.

FBCS Cyber Security Transformation

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FBCS also stated that they’ve implemented “additional safeguards in a newly built environment.”

DIY Identity Protection

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With so much personal info floating around, if you think you’ve been affected it’s crucial to take action. Here’s what you can do to avoid the chances of phishing attempts, identity theft, and other social engineering attacks.

Free Credit Monitoring

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Get Identity Theft Protection: Sign up for an identity theft protection service ASAP. If you’re eligible, grab the free CyEx subscription FBCS is offering. These services can alert you if your info is being used fraudulently.

Fraud Alerts Are Your Friend

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Place a Fraud Alert: Reach out to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to put a fraud alert on your credit file. This makes it tougher for anyone to open new accounts in your name.

Digital Spring Cleaning

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Use Data Removal Services: While no service can erase all your info from the internet, a data removal service can help monitor and remove your details from various sites.

Social Security Monitoring

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Check Your Social Security Benefits: Regularly monitor your Social Security benefits to make sure no one’s doing anything with them. It’s a simple step that can save you a lot of headaches.

Phishing Season

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Watch Out for Phishing: Be super cautious with emails, calls, or messages asking for personal info. Don’t click on suspicious links, and don’t share any sensitive details unless you’re 100% sure about the company.

Beef Up Your Security

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Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable two-factor authentication on your online accounts whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone.

One Password is Never Enough

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Change Your Passwords: Update your passwords often, especially for important accounts. Use strong, unique passwords, consider a password manager for extra security and try not to use the same password over multiple websites.

Could It Be A Financial Disaster In The Making?

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It’s worrying to think that with so much personal data out there, millions of people are now at risk of identity theft and financial fraud. This breach is more than just that – it could easily become a financial disaster.

Stricter Regulations Could Be On The Way

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Cybersecurity experts claim that this breach could lead to stricter regulations and more scrutiny of how businesses handle customer data, although for the people affected, this assurance will be too little too late.

Keep On The Situation

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For now, stay informed, stay vigilant, and take every step you can to protect yourself if you think you’ve been affected.

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The post Hackers Steal Millions and Put American’s Social Security Numbers at Risk first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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