Posted On April 1, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches
April 1, 2022 – Recently, CMG Mortgage, Inc. (“CMG Financial”) confirmed that an unauthorized party may have gained access to certain customers’ personal and financial information, including their Social Security numbers.
If you received a data breach notification, it is essential that you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the CMG Financial data breach on behalf of people whose information was exposed and will be interviewing victims of the breach to determine what damages they sustained.
“I speak to data breach victims almost every day, and many don’t fully grasp the impact a breach can have,” attorney Richard P. Console, Jr. said. “Once your sensitive personal data falls into the hands of cybercriminals, you have a much higher risk of identity theft for the rest of your life. If a company allows your personal data to be stolen, holding that company accountable through a class action lawsuit may be the only way to obtain fair compensation and to send a message to other companies to be more careful.”
On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 recovering their identity. Many victims also suffer emotional distress, incur credit damage, discover loans taken out in their name without their knowledge, and may even end up with a criminal record for crimes they did not commit. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.
According to an official filing by the company, on March 18, 2022, CMG Financial discovered “potential unauthorized access” to certain customers’ information. In response, the company conducted an internal investigation into the incident, confirming that some customer data may have been accessed by the unauthorized party.
The data that may have been accessible to the unauthorized party includes that information normally included on a loan application, such as your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, bank account number, and loan application number.
On March 30, 2022, CMG Financial began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
CMG Financial is the customer-facing name of CMG Mortgage, Inc. The company was founded in Pleasanton, California in 1993. CMG Financial is licensed in 50 states and the District of Columbia. The company also holds federal agency lending approvals with HUD, VA, RHS, GNMA, FNMA and FHLMC. CMG Financial employs approximately 760 people and generates annual revenue of roughly $146 million.
Often, data breaches are the result of a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why a hacker targeted CMG Financial, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify those companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.
Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and remove any data stored on the compromised servers. While in most cases a company experiencing a data breach can identify which files were accessible, there may be no way for the company to tell which files the hacker actually accessed or whether they removed any data.
While the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of an unauthorized person. As a result, you are at an increased risk of identity theft and other frauds, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.
Given this reality, individuals who receive a CMG Financial data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like CMG Financial are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that CMG Financial failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.
When customers decided to do business with CMG Financial, they assumed that the company would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that consumers would think twice before giving a company access to their information if they knew it wasn’t going to be secure. Thus, data breaches such as this one raise questions about the adequacy of a company’s data security system.
When a business, government entity, non-profit organization, school, or any other organization accepts and stores consumer data, it also accepts a legal obligation to ensure this information remains private. The United States data breach laws allow consumers to pursue civil data breach claims against organizations that fail to protect their information.
Of course, given the recency of the CMG Financial data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, as of right now, there is not yet any evidence suggesting CMG Financial is legally responsible for the breach. However, that could change as additional information about the breach and its causes is revealed.
If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against CMG Financial, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
If CMG Financial sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. While this isn’t a time to panic, the situation warrants your attention. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity:
Below is a copy of the initial data breach letter issued by CMG Mortgage, Inc.:
We are writing to inform you of an information security incident that may involve certain personal information you provided to CMG Mortgage Inc. (“CMG” or the “Company”). We are providing this notice as a precaution to inform potentially affected individuals about the incident and to call your attention to some steps you can take to help protect yourself. Please be assured that we have taken reasonable steps to address the incident.
On March 18th, 2022 the Company became aware of a potential unauthorized access of personal information on a small subset of customers. The personal information involved in the incident is commonly included in the application of a loan and may have included your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, bank account number, and loan application number. Based on our investigation, it appears you were one of the individuals whose information could be affected by this incident. Please note, at this time, we are not aware of any fraud or misuse of your information as a result of this incident.
We take the privacy of personal information seriously and deeply regret that this incident occurred. We took steps to address the incident promptly after it was discovered, including rebuilding and segmenting affected system and initiating an internal investigation. We regularly take steps to strengthen the security environment of our systems to protect customer data. For example, we are implementing additional layers of protection designed to help prevent unauthorized access in the future and to enhance the security of our systems including implementing multi-factor authentication, further segmenting CMG’s internal network and systems, and upgrading CMG’s document management system.