1.6 Million people who filed for unemployment claims in 2020 in Washington state have had their personal information exposed in a data breach. The Washington State data breach was due to data stolen from a third-party company, Accellion.  

What Personal Information Was Exposed in the Washington State Data Breach?

· Names

· Social Security numbers

· Driver’s License or state identification numbers

· Bank information

· Place of Employment

Are You One of the 1.6 Million People Impacted by the Washington State Breach? Here’s What You Should Do.

1. A threat actor could attempt to take over existing accounts or open new ones using your information – now or in the future.

Read next: Info Sheet – Email Account Takeover: What to do When You Have Been Hacked

2. Your unemployment benefits could be stolen. Organized cybercriminals have already used stolen credentials and other identity information to apply for unemployment benefits through state websites, including Washington resulting in legitimate claims being denied or payments re-directed. State officials reported more than $500 million in fraudulent claims in 2020.

3. You could find yourself the victim of identity-related tax fraud. Taxpayers in have received Form 1099 G’s that report how much income a taxpayer received from government benefits like unemployment benefits – even though they did not apply for or receive benefits.

Read next: Info Sheet – What Consumers Need to Know About a Data Breach

Steps to Take Now

· Obtain a free credit report

· Freeze your credit for free.

· If you do not want to freeze your credit, consider a fraud alert on your credit report

· Review your accounts and account statement for any suspicious activity

· For free guidance and assistance from the Washington state data breach, call and speak to an ITRC Victim Advisor at 888.400.5530 or click “Chat now.”

· Stay up to date on the latest news about this breach on the Washington State Auditors page: https://sao.wa.gov/breach2021/

Access our free Help Center with more than 50 Info Sheets and Action Plans.

More About Data Breaches & Resources

While data breaches do not automatically mean your identity will be misused, you are at increased risk of an identity crime. The online publication Threat Post pointed out in a Feb 10, 2021 report that “Users who had personal data exposed in a third-party breach were five-times more likely to be targeted by phishing or malware, which highlights just how damaging these types of data breaches can be, even in the long run.”

As noted in the ITRC’s 2020 Data Breach Report, phishing is the most common form of a cyberattack that results in a data breach today, usually in connection with ransomware. Together these attacks represent 62 percent of attacks in 2020 that resulted in the release of consumer information. 

More about Identity Theft

The use of your Social Security number can result in many different forms of identity crimes. Below is information so you know what to look for and what to do if you become a victim. You can call and speak to an ITRC Advisor at any time for active tips and victim assistance at 888.400.5530 or click “Chat now.”

Data Breach Notifications

Tax Identity Theft