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Posted On October 8, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches

Data Breach Alert: Washington Federal Bank

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

Data Breach AlertOn October 7, 2022, Washington Federal Bank (“WaFd”) filed notice of a data breach with the Texas Attorney General’s Office following an incident in which sensitive consumer information was accessible to an unauthorized party. Based on the company’s official filing, the incident resulted in an unauthorized party gaining access to consumers’ names, addresses, and financial account information. After confirming that consumer data was leaked, WaFd began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals who were impacted by the recent data security incident.

If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the WaFd data breach on behalf of people whose information was exposed. As a part of this investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Washington Federal Bank.

What We Know So Far About the Washington Federal Bank Breach

The available information regarding the Washington Federal Bank breach comes from the company’s filing with the Attorney General of Texas. Notably, WaFd has not yet posted notice of the breach on its website, nor has the bank publicly discussed what led to the compromised data.

However, upon discovering that sensitive client data was accessible to an unauthorized party, Washington Federal Bank began to review the affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted. While the breached information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name, address and financial account information.

While the total number of people affected by the WaFd data breach is not yet known, it appears that there were 1,117 victims in Texas alone. However, Texas is just one of eight states with WaFd locations, so it is likely that the total number of victims is significantly higher.

On October 7, 2022, Washington Federal Bank sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

More Information About Washington Federal Bank

Founded in 1917, Washington Federal Bank is a financial institution based in Seattle, Washington. WaFd offers its individual and business clients a wide range of financial services one would typically expect to find at any bank, including checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposits, retirement accounts, mortgages, personal loans, auto loans and more. Washington Federal Bank operates approximately 235 branches in eight western states, including Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Washington Federal Bank employs more than 2,083 people and generates approximately $598 million in annual revenue.

How to Mitigate the Risk of Identity Theft After a Data Breach

With the number of data breaches reaching an all-time high in 2021, it’s hard to go more than a day or two without reading about the most recent breach. In addition to the increase in frequency, hackers are becoming more sophisticated in how they carry out cyberattacks, meaning they are now more effectively targeting the most sensitive consumer data that can easily be sold on the dark web. Given the frequency with which these breaches occur and the potentially life-change repercussions that can follow in their aftermath, it is important that everyone knows how to protect themselves after a data breach.

While there are many risks associated with a data breach, the most common is that a hacker steals your identity or sells your stolen information to another criminal on the dark web. Criminals are constantly prowling the dark web looking to buy stolen information they can use to commit all types of fraud. So once stolen data makes it on the dark web, it usually isn’t long before reports of identity theft arise.

Of course, there is nothing you can do to prevent a data breach; however, an effective response on your part can mitigate the worst risks. Below is a list of some of the things you should do after a data breach. Of course, this should not be seen as an exhaustive list, especially if a breach involves highly sensitive information such as your financial account numbers or Social Security number.

Carefully Read the Data Breach Letter

The first thing to do after getting notice of a data breach is to carefully review the letter or email to determine what information was compromised. The letter will also contain important information about how an unauthorized party carried out the attack, what the company has done since the breach to protect future customers, and whether the company has received any reports of identity theft or fraud from other victims.

Frequently Monitor Your Accounts

Hackers usually try to use stolen information as quickly as possible, because they want to turn a quick buck before victims have the chance to close their accounts or prevent unauthorized access. However, sometimes hackers need additional information to carry out frauds, which can take time to obtain. Thus, while it’s common for reports of fraud to arise immediately after a breach, it is imperative that you continually check your online bank and credit card accounts, as well as your credit report. This includes checking accounts that were not compromised in the breach.

Enroll in Free Credit Monitoring

Credit monitoring is a service that alerts you if there is any suspicious activity regarding your credit account. Credit monitoring typically costs about $30 per month. However, companies usually provide victims of a data breach with either one or two years of free credit monitoring. Thus, signing up for credit monitoring is free and provides you with an easy way to keep tabs on your credit. Importantly, signing up for free credit monitoring does not affect your rights to bring a data breach lawsuit against the company if it turns out that the company was negligent leading up to the breach.

Consider Adding a Fraud Alert or a Credit Freeze

Fraud alerts and credit freezes are free services offered by the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. A fraud alert puts companies that pull your credit on notice that you have reason to believe someone may be fraudulently using your information. A credit freeze offers another layer of protection by preventing all access to your credit profile without your advance approval. The Identity Theft Resource Center has repeatedly explained that credit freezes are the single best way to prevent fraud after a data breach.

If You Have Questions About Your Rights Following the Washington Federal Bank 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 affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the WaFd data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough 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.

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