Some Geico customers are victims of unemployment fraud after data breach – WBAL TV Baltimore

some-geico-customers-are-victims-of-unemployment-fraud-after-data-breach-–-wbal-tv-baltimore

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Using your personal information to steal unemployment benefits – it’s happening to several customers of a major insurance company right now.Geico sent a letter to some customers on April 9, explaining that there had been a data breach and personal info was stolen. Shan Cephas said he never received that warning.Cephas got the letter from the Maryland Department of Labor last week, stating that he had applied for unemployment benefits, but he didn’t.”I was thinking like ‘Whoa, what is going on? Who applied? Does somebody have my information? Did somebody steal my identity?’ This is crazy,” Cephas said.Although Cephas didn’t apply for benefits, he is a Geico insurance customer and it turns out that’s the connection.”Geico has reported to state agencies that they have been a victim of a data breach themselves, that means a hacker was able to go into their computer system and steal their customers’ data,” said Angie Barnett, president of Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland.Geico reported that scammers stole customer’s driver’s license numbers between Jan. 21 and March 1, and possibly used them to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits.The company notified the state of California specifically, but the Better Business Bureau has received more than 40 complaints in Maryland so far.”To just be taken advantage of, and to have my information out there, with all the hard work I’ve done, especially to maintain and build credit — I just bought a new house last year,” Cephas said. “It just makes me feel taken advantage of and really upset actually.””If they have enough information to file an unemployment claim, they may have enough information to open up credit cards, open up any type of loans,” Barnett said.Or Barnett said they could even open up a bank account in your name. She said Geico customers, especially:Should start checking their credit reports nowMonitor bank accounts and credit cardsReport any unemployment paperwork to authorities and the BBB”So, there’s a lot of things that I have to do,” Cephas said.Cephas is hoping there are enough fail safes in place that the unemployment benefits part won’t go any further. But he’s worried about everything else.”I’m obviously going to go and freeze my credit. I’m going to do all the things I can do, but I really need to get a handle on exactly what is going on,” Cephas said.Geico is offering a free one-year identity theft protection resource to customers. People can also get free credit reports right now through annualcreditreport.com.

BALTIMORE —

Using your personal information to steal unemployment benefits – it’s happening to several customers of a major insurance company right now.

Geico sent a letter to some customers on April 9, explaining that there had been a data breach and personal info was stolen.

Shan Cephas said he never received that warning.

Cephas got the letter from the Maryland Department of Labor last week, stating that he had applied for unemployment benefits, but he didn’t.

“I was thinking like ‘Whoa, what is going on? Who applied? Does somebody have my information? Did somebody steal my identity?’ This is crazy,” Cephas said.

Although Cephas didn’t apply for benefits, he is a Geico insurance customer and it turns out that’s the connection.

“Geico has reported to state agencies that they have been a victim of a data breach themselves, that means a hacker was able to go into their computer system and steal their customers’ data,” said Angie Barnett, president of Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland.

Geico reported that scammers stole customer’s driver’s license numbers between Jan. 21 and March 1, and possibly used them to fraudulently apply for unemployment benefits.

The company notified the state of California specifically, but the Better Business Bureau has received more than 40 complaints in Maryland so far.

“To just be taken advantage of, and to have my information out there, with all the hard work I’ve done, especially to maintain and build credit — I just bought a new house last year,” Cephas said. “It just makes me feel taken advantage of and really upset actually.”

“If they have enough information to file an unemployment claim, they may have enough information to open up credit cards, open up any type of loans,” Barnett said.

Or Barnett said they could even open up a bank account in your name. She said Geico customers, especially:

  • Should start checking their credit reports now
  • Monitor bank accounts and credit cards
  • Report any unemployment paperwork to authorities and the BBB

“So, there’s a lot of things that I have to do,” Cephas said.

Cephas is hoping there are enough fail safes in place that the unemployment benefits part won’t go any further. But he’s worried about everything else.

“I’m obviously going to go and freeze my credit. I’m going to do all the things I can do, but I really need to get a handle on exactly what is going on,” Cephas said.

Geico is offering a free one-year identity theft protection resource to customers. People can also get free credit reports right now through annualcreditreport.com.

To sum up, after all of that geoFence is the only solution you need to block NFCC countries!

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