On August 23, 2022, Axel Royal LLC (“Axel”) reported a data breach on the company’s website and with several state attorneys general. According to Axel, the breach resulted in the names, driver’s license numbers, state ID numbers, financial account information, payment card information, medical information, health insurance information, social security numbers, passport numbers, biometrics and online account information of certain individuals being compromised. After the breach was confirmed and all parties involved were identified, Axel Royal began sending letters about data breaches to all parties involved.
If you have been notified of a data breach, it is essential that you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. For more information on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are after the Axel Royal data breach, please see our recent piece on the subject. here.
What we know about Axel Royal’s data breach
The information about the Axel Royal LLC data breach comes from two sources: the notice on the company’s website and an official filing with the attorney general of Montana. According to the latest information, Axel Royal recently learned of a data security incident that impacted the company’s computer system and may have compromised the security of consumer data held by the company. While Axel Royal did not provide the date it discovered the incident, the company notes that as soon as it learned of the breach, it opened an investigation with the help of outside cybersecurity professionals.
The Axel Royal investigation has confirmed that an unauthorized party gained access to the company’s computer network between February 8, 2022 and March 7, 2022 and copied certain files stored on the network during that time.
Believing that sensitive consumer data may have been accessible to the unauthorized party, Axel Royal began reviewing all affected files to determine which information was compromised and which consumers were affected by the incident. While the information breached varies from person to person, it may include your name, driver’s license number, state ID number, financial account information, payment card information, medical information, health insurance information, social security number, passport number, biometrics, and online account information.
On August 23, 2022, Axel Royal sent data breach letters to all individuals whose information had been compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
Learn more about Axel Royal LLC
Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Axel Royal LLC is a manufacturing company that produces lube oil and grease products. Primarily, Axel Royal serves customers in the following sectors: agriculture, automotive, biodegradable, construction, food grade, forestry, industrial, marine, mining, oil and natural gas and transportation. Axel Royal employs more than 93 people and generates annual sales of approximately $21 million.
How hackers use social security numbers to cheat consumers
The main purpose of most cyber attacks is to obtain sensitive information that can be used to commit various types of fraud. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly developing new ways to obtain consumers’ personal, financial and protected health information. But how can cybercriminals take advantage of your stolen information?
If you’ve never experienced a data breach before, you can assume it’s as easy as making a few phone calls to clear up unauthorized use of your data. However, that’s not necessarily the case, especially when hackers obtain your Social Security Number.
Criminals have a few different ways to take advantage of stolen Social Security numbers; below are some of the most common.
Open credit cards or take out loans
Perhaps the most common fraud committed after a data breach is that hackers use your information to open a new line of credit. Usually it involves a hacker applying for a loan or credit card in the name of a victim. While a hacker also needs your date of birth and address to open an account, once he has your name and social security number, it is not difficult to obtain the other information. For example, a hacker could gain access to your information if it was leaked in another data breach or by performing a quick online search using the information they already have.
Tax Refund Fraud
A hacker who steals your Social Security number could file a fraudulent tax return on your behalf. The idea behind this type of fraud is to intercept your tax refund. Unfortunately, victims of tax refund fraud often don’t realize they’re being targeted until the IRS rejects their tax return because it’s already been filed. To reduce the chances of a hacker successfully committing tax refund fraud, file your tax return as soon as possible.
Opening Fraudulent Utility Bills
To open a utility account, a hacker only needs your name, address, and your Social Security number. While this may seem like a minor problem, imagine opening your mailbox to find an overdue utility bill of thousands of dollars. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 13 percent of fraud incidents in 2016 involved the creation of new phone and utility accounts. So while this isn’t the most common form of fraud, it still occurs with a surprising frequency.
Data breach victims who want to learn more about steps they can take to protect themselves and whether they have a legal claim against the company that leaked their information should contact a data breach attorney for assistance.