Washington State Data Breach
February 3, 2021
The Washington State Auditor’s office recently announced that a third-party provider it uses to transfer files was breached.
This potentially exposes the personal information of 1.6 million Washingtonians who filed for unemployment between Jan. 1 to Dec. 25, 2020, and possibly others. Anyone who filed an unemployment claim between Jan. 1 and Dec. 10, 2020, may have had their name, social security number, driver’s license or banking information compromised. The Washington State Auditor’s office will contact those who were affected.
In addition to the exposure of unemployment claims data, other information from 100 local governments and 25 state agencies may have been compromised in the breach. Citing the ongoing investigation, the auditor did not disclose the names of those entities, with the exception of the Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Below are some tips if you live in Washington State and collected unemployment during the above time periods.
- The Washington State Auditor has set up a web page for people who think their personal information could have been exposed in the data breach. Here is the website: https://sao.wa.gov/breach2021/
- NWPCU online banking members can set up alerts on their accounts. Log in to your online banking go to: Setting -> Security & Alerts -> Alerts -> Add an alert. Various alerts can be used and sent to your email or mobile device. If you do not have Online Banking with us, go to our website and click Enroll.
- You can place a “codeword” on your account.
- You can review your credit report, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
- Members can consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on credit reports if they think their data has been compromised.
- If you have been the fraud victim, file a local police report. Then, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
- Keep your notes. The paper trail may become a useful resource should you face identity theft issues or inaccuracies in your credit report in the future.
We realize there are many steps to take; however, the more local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are aware of fraud reports, the more resources they will dedicate to pursue the perpetrators.