On July 26, 2022, Gannon Associates Insurance Agency reported a data breach after the company experienced a “security incident”. According to Gannon, the breach resulted in all names, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers of other individuals being compromised. After confirming the breach and identifying all affected parties, Gannon Associates began sending data breach letters to all affected parties.
If you have received notification of a data breach, it is important that you understand what is at stake and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from fraud or identity theft and your options following a Gannon Associates data breach, please see our recent article on this topic. Here.
What We Know About the Gannon Associates Data Breach
Information about the Gannon Associates Insurance Agency data breach comes from two sources: information the company provided to various government agencies and information posted on the Gannon Associates website. Apparently, on June 14, 2022, Gannon learned that an unauthorized group may have had access to his computer and may have deleted some files. In response, the company secured its computer systems and launched an investigation into the incident in hopes of finding out what caused it and whether any consumer data was downloaded.
On June 20, 2022, Gannon Associates, with the help of third-party cyber security experts, confirmed that an unauthorized party had access to files on the company’s network and that the files contained information about Gannon Associates’ clients and the company’s clients. “other business customers.”
After realizing that sensitive consumer data was available to an unauthorized party, Gannon Associates began the process of reviewing all affected files to determine what was compromised and what consumers were affected by. Although the information breached varies from person to person, it can include your full name, Social Security number and driver’s license number.
On July 26, 2022, Gannon Associates sent an information breach notice to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent incident.
More About Gannon Associates Insurance Agency
Founded in 1973 and located in Towanda, Pennsylvania, Gannon Associates Insurance Agency is an insurance company legally registered under the name Associated Insurance and Financial Services, LLC. Gannon Associates offers a wide range of insurance products to individual and business clients, including home, auto, health, and business insurance. Gannon Associates employs over 95 people and generates approximately $77 million annually.
What Can Hackers Do With Your Information After a Data Breach?
Cybercriminals are always looking for ways to gain access to consumer, financial and security information. But why? How can they benefit from your stolen property? Many people think that theft or illegal activity is the extent of the damage it can cause; however, this is not necessarily the case. Hackers have a number of ways to profit from data breaches. Below are just a few of the crimes that cybercriminals commit after stealing personal information in a data breach.
Open Credit Cards or Take Out a Loan
The obvious downside of a data breach is that hackers use your information to open new credit. In most cases, this involves the hacker taking your personal information and applying for your credit card or loan. While a cybercriminal may need your name, date of birth, and address to carry out these types of scams, they can often obtain this information in a number of ways. For example, a cybercriminal may be able to gain access to information about you by hacking other data or doing a quick web search using the information they already have.
Get Your Tax Refund
A fraudster who has your Social Security number can send fraudulent tax returns on your behalf to get your tax refund. Unfortunately, victims of tax refund fraud often don’t realize they’re being scammed until the IRS rejects their tax return because it was previously filed. To reduce the chances of tax return fraud, you should file your tax return as soon as possible.
Receive Medical Treatment in Your Own Name
Hackers who have your personal information may also try to get medical treatment in your name. Basically, a criminal comes to the doctor’s office pretending to be you. Not only does this leave you with the bill, but it can also lead to errors in your medical records, as the provider’s information may be confused with yours when they provide it to the treating physician.
Open Fraudulent User Accounts
According to the Federal Trade Commission, 13 percent of fraud cases in 2016 involved creating new phones and accounts. To open a checking account, a scammer only needs your name, address and Social Security number. This information is available through many data breaches, making it one of the easiest frauds to commit.
Of course, criminals may not be able to carry out these scams on their own; they usually sell your information to another criminal who does the exact same scam. This allows hackers to make money quickly and move on to the next group of victims.