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What Can Happen to Me After a Data Breach?

NOTICE: If you received a NOTICE OF DATA BREACH letter, contact the attorneys at Console & Associates at (866) 778-5500 to discuss your legal options, or submit a confidential Case Evaluation form here.

Data breaches are becoming increasingly common in today’s high-tech society. With companies storing more information than ever electronically and on the cloud, the possibilities for hackers are seemingly endless. Unfortunately, the frequency with which data breaches occur leads some victims to assume that the harms stemming from these incidents are not as severe as they actually are. In reality, falling victim to a data breach results in much more than a headache and a few phone calls to your bank.

If you received a data breach letter from a company, it is essential you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are eager to help those whose information was exposed through all types of cybersecurity incidents, including phishing attacks and ransomware attacks. We understand the United States consumer privacy laws and how they can be used to secure compensation on behalf of data breach victims like you. We are available to immediately discuss the incident, what risks you face as a result, and what you can do to hold the company responsible for the breach financially accountable.

What Can Hackers Do with My Information After a Data Breach?

After a cybersecurity incident leading to a data breach, hackers who successfully obtain your information can use it to commit a variety of crimes such as identity theft and other frauds. When hackers think about which companies to target, they will often consider the type of consumer information a company has in its possession. For example, if a hacker is able to obtain your name and Social Security number through a data breach, they often have enough data to steal your identity.

Identity fraud occurs when another person uses your personal information and, pretending to be you, opens up an account, usually a loan of some type. Once the hacker obtains the loan, they can then spend money in your name until they reach the credit limit. At this point, the hacker often moves on to the next victim, leaving you to foot the bill.

Will My Credit or Job Be Affected By a Data Breach?

Yes, falling victim to identity theft after a data breach can impact your credit score and, in some cases, your job. If a cybercriminal is able to obtain your information through a data leak and they successfully steal your identity, they typically spend as much money as they can as quickly as they can. By the time you learn of the identity fraud, the credit line is often maxed out. Not only does using a high percentage of your credit negatively impact your credit score, but unless you make payments on the account or get the company to reverse the charges, it can further damage your credit.

Identity theft following a data security incident can also impact your job in a few ways. First, repairing your credit after being the target of identity theft takes about 200 hours on average. If you are like most people, finding the time to fix your credit during the workweek is impossible while working a full-time job. Thus, you may need to request time off to address the situation, which can put you at odds with your employer, who may be unwilling to provide you with the time off you need. Additionally, in cases of criminal identity theft—where a person provides your name to police when they are arrested—victims can actually end up with a criminal record. This can make it much more difficult to secure employment, as employers regularly conduct background checks (and even credit checks).

Can Hackers Apply for Loans and Unemployment in My Name After a Data Breach?

“According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, victims’ names and Social Security numbers were the most targeted pieces of information in data breaches occurring in 2021.”
Yes, applying for loans, credit cards, and unemployment benefits are all common goals of hackers who orchestrate data breaches. It is important to realize that hackers expend significant effort and take on substantial risks when perpetrating a cyberattack. They wouldn’t go through all this trouble if there wasn’t something for them on the other end. For most hackers and cybercriminals, the goal of a data incident is obtaining consumers’ personal information so that they can use this information for their personal benefit. While there are various ways criminals can use the personal information they obtain through a data breach, the most common involves opening up loans or applying for government benefits in the victim’s name. This is why, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, victims’ names and Social Security numbers were the most targeted pieces of information in data breaches occurring in 2021.

If You Have Questions About Your Rights Following a Data Breach, Console & Associates, P.C. Can Help

At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches, during which we will explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about what your best options are. If you’ve been affected by a data breach or data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thoughtful advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.

To schedule your free consultation, just call (866) 778-5500 today or fill out our secure contact form.