Public Employees Credit Union Data Breach Results in Leaked Social Security Numbers | Console and Associates, P.C. | #itsecurity | #infosec

Recently, Public Employees Credit Union (“PECU”) experienced a data breach after an unauthorized party gained access to the company’s computer network and the sensitive consumer data contained on the network. According to the PECU, the breach resulted in the names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, account numbers and Social Security numbers of affected members being compromised. On May 16, 2022, PECU filed official notice of the breach and sent out data breach letters to all affected parties.

If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of the Public Employees Credit Union data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.

More Information About the Public Employees Credit Union Data Breach

According to official notice filed by the company, PECU first detected the data security incident on April 26, 2022, when it noticed unauthorized activity on its computer systems. In response, PECU took the necessary steps to contain the incident and then launched an investigation into the incident. This investigation confirmed that an unauthorized party was able to access the PECU network on April 24, 2022. Public Employees Credit Union also learned that the unauthorized party downloaded certain files containing sensitive member information.

Upon discovering that sensitive member data was accessible to an unauthorized party, Public Employees Credit Union then reviewed the affected files to determine exactly what information was compromised and to whom it belonged. While the leaked information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, account number, account open date, and Social Security number.

On May 16, 2022, Public Employees Credit Union sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

Background Information on Public Employees Credit Union

Public Employees Credit Union is a financial services company based in Austin, Texas. PECU provides traditional banking services to its members, such as individual and business checking and savings accounts, auto loans, mortgage loans, home refinance loans, credit cards and personal loans. PECU operates six branches in Austin, TX and Beaumont, TX and more than 150 ATMs throughout the area.

What to Do if Your Bank Account Number Was Compromised in a Data Breach

Financial data, such as bank account numbers and credit card information, is frequently targeted by hackers. Once cybercriminals have your bank account information, they can then use it to make fraudulent transactions. In some situations, they may even use this information to steal your identity, which can require months of effort—and thousands of dollars—to rectify.

If you recently learned that your financial data was compromised in a data breach, time is of the essence. The moment you learn that your credit or debit card information was compromised, it is imperative that you take steps to protect yourself. Below are a few things you can do right away to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud following a data breach affecting your bank account number.

Call the Bank

At the very least, after learning of a data breach that affects your bank account number, you should call the bank and either place a freeze on your account or close the account and open a new one. While this is certainly inconvenient, it only takes criminals a few minutes to use your information to make purchases, which is much harder to undo. Once you report a compromised account number, you shouldn’t be held responsible for any fraudulent charges.

Check Your Bank Statements

While you are in the process of talking with the bank about your accounts, a bank employee will likely review your most recent transactions to determine if an unauthorized party has already started to use your account. However, even if there is no unauthorized activity, be sure to check your account regularly for any signs of fraud or identity theft.

Change Your Passwords

Sometimes, hackers are able to compile information from multiple breaches. They may get your name and account number through one leak and your address, Social Security number and phone number through another. They can then put all this information together and plug it into a computer program that will “guess” your password to various sites. Thus, if your password was compromised in a previous or subsequent attack, they could then use that information to commit further frauds. To be safe, after any data breach, it is best to change all your passwords.

Those breach victims looking to learn more about the steps to take after a data breach or how they may be able to hold the company responsible for maintaining their information responsible for the breach should reach out to a data breach lawyer for immediate assistance.

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