It has never been more lucrative to be a cyber criminal. Credit card fraud, tax fraud, phishing scams, and medical fraud are on the rise, up 15% in 2015 from the previous year with a total of 15.4 million American victims, according to NBC News. Due to the large amount of personal and highly sensitive information that your employer likely has regarding its employees, large companies have become a prime target. When your information such as your W2 is stolen, it, along with your Social Security Number, can be used to file a tax return and collect thousands of dollars in tax rebates under your name. Unfortunately, the perpetrator will likely never be found. Often, there is considerable negligence on behalf of your employer when this happens, due to its lack of security measures, and it should be held accountable for your and your co-workers’ significant losses. The attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP have considerable experience helping employees seek damages from their employers due to data breaches.
You Information is Valuable to Cyber Thieves
Cyber thieves target the personal information of employees in order to use it for their own financial gain, or to quickly sell it through torrent black markets to others who will do the rest of the dirty work, such as filing a tax return under your name or making purchases with your credit card. This Personal Identifying Information (PII) that can be stolen includes the following:
- Credit card information;
- Social Security Number;
- Medical information;
- W2; and
- Personal information such as your mother’s maiden name, your name, your address, and your date of birth.
How Does a Data Breach Happen?
Your employer is responsible for protecting your personal information, but if your employer does not use up to date and reasonably sophisticated security measures, small to large scale hacks occur. Cyber criminals accomplish this by hacking into company email and impersonating high level executives in order to get confidential employee information or have large company funds transferred to them. These are called Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam and phishing scams, and result in millions of dollars lost. Of the $.13 billion in financial cyber crime theft in 2016, BEC scams were one of the leading causes, according to the FBI and reported by SC Magazine. The information that cyber criminals take can be used for years to come, harming you well after the actual data breach.
Call an Employment Attorney Today for Legal Guidance
Your employer is not an innocent lamb going to slaughter; the FBI and other private research firms that work for the U.S. government routinely send out warnings and notices regarding cyber threats and how to avoid them. If your employer failed to equip the company properly, it can and should be held liable for employee damages. The attorneys of HKM Employment Attorneys LLP have helped thousands of employees who have been the victims of cyber crime due to employer negligence, and have filed numerous class action lawsuits against large companies that let their employees down. Call our St. Louis office today to get started.