Ancora Holdings Group, Inc. Announces Data Breach

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On August 25, 2022, Ancora Holdings Group, Inc. reported a data breach with the Office of the Attorney General of Montana. According to Ancora, the breach resulted in the names and Social Security numbers of certain individuals being compromised. After confirming the breach and identifying all affected parties, Ancora Holdings Group began sending out data breach letters to all affected parties.

If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk and what you can do about it. To learn more about how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft and what your legal options are in the wake of the Ancora Holdings Group data breach, please see our recent piece on the topic here.

What We Know About the Ancora Holdings Group Data Breach

The information about the Ancora Holdings Group, Inc. data breach comes from the Office of the Attorney General of Montana. According to this source, on June 17, 2022, Ancora detected suspicious activity within an employee’s email account. In response, the company secured the affected email account and began working with third-party cybersecurity specialists to investigate the incident.

As a result of the company’s investigation, Ancora learned that an unauthorized party had gained access to one employee’s email account on May 16, 2022, and that this period of unauthorized access lasted until the company identified the intrusion on June 17, 2022.

Upon discovering that sensitive consumer data was accessible to an unauthorized party, Ancora Holdings Group began the process of reviewing all affected files to determine what information was compromised and which consumers were impacted by the incident. The company completed its review of all emails and attachments on August 23, 2022. While the breached information varies depending on the individual, it may include your name and Social Security number.

On August 25, 2022, Ancora Holdings Group sent out data breach letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

More Information About Ancora Holdings Group, Inc.

Founded in 2003, Ancora Holdings Group, Inc. is a finance company based in Cleveland, Ohio. The company provides investment advisory, wealth management and retirement plan services to both individuals and large institutions. Currently, the firm has more than $8.4 billion in assets under management and employs a team of 11 CFAs, 5 CPAs, 5 JDs, 4 CFPs, and 1 CAIA. As of June 2022, Ancora offers five equity strategies, five fixed-income strategies, four mutual funds, and four alternative strategies. Ancora Holdings Group employs more than 85 people and generates approximately $35 million in annual revenue.

What Can Hackers Do With a Stolen Social Security Number?

Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to obtain consumers’ personal, financial and protected health information. Social Security numbers are one of the most targeted types of information because hackers can use (or sell) this data very easily. But how can they profit off of your stolen SSN?

Most people assume that identity theft or unauthorized transactions are the extent of the damage a hacker can cause; however, that is not necessarily the case. Criminals have a few different ways to profit off of stolen Social Security numbers.

Open Credit Cards or Take Out Loans

The most common harm associated with a data breach involves hackers using your stolen information to open up a new line of credit in your name, but for their benefit. Most often, this involves a hacker applying for a new credit card or personal loan. To do this, a hacker only needs your name, date of birth, address and Social Security number. However, once they have your name and Social Security number through a data breach, obtaining the other information is simple enough for these sophisticated criminals. For example, a cybercriminal may have access to your other information through another data breach, a database of compromised information, or by conducting an online search using the stolen information.

Steal Your Tax Refund

A hacker who steals your Social Security number can file a fraudulent tax return on your behalf to intercept your tax refund. They do this by filing an income tax return in your name before you can file your return. Unfortunately, victims of tax refund fraud often don’t realize they’ve been 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, you should file your tax return as soon as possible.

Open Fraudulent Utility Accounts

Cell phone and utility accounts are also common methods hackers use to make money off of stolen information. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, 13 percent of fraud incidents in 2016 involved the creation of new phone and utility accounts. To open up a utility account, all a hacker needs is your name, address and your Social Security number.

Of course, in many cases, hackers do not conduct identity theft or fraud themselves. Instead, they post stolen information for sale on the dark web and sell it to the highest bidder. This enables hackers to make a quick profit and move on to the next cyberattack and the next set of victims.

Those who have questions about their rights after a data breach and what they can do to hold a company responsible for leaking their information should reach out to an experienced data breach lawyer for assistance.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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