02/04/2021: Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) announces a third-party vendor data breach. If you filed an unemployment claim in 2020, your personal information may be at risk. >>Read More

The Office of the Washington State Auditor (SAO) has reported a data breach at a third-party vendor, Accellion.  The compromised data involves about 1.6 million unemployment claims made in Washington in 2020 and includes the claimant’s name, social security number financial institution account and routing numbers, and employment information. 

 

The SAO has set up a webpage dedicated to providing the latest information on this incident:   https://sao.wa.gov/breach2021/

 

If you applied for unemployment in Washington State in 2020, here are some steps you can take to protect your identity:

  • Monitor your financial accounts for unusual activity. If you notice unauthorized activity, report it to your financial institution immediately.
  • Change your passwords.  Change and strengthen your passwords, especially those related to online financial institution accounts.
  • Activate Bank and Credit Card Account Alerts. Sign up for text or email alerts through Online or Mobile Banking. 
  • Consider placing a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. A fraud alert informs creditors of possible identity theft or fraudulent activity within your credit file.  To place a fraud alert or freeze, contact any of the three credit reporting agencies:

Equifax – 800.685.1111 or equifax.com

Experian – 888.397.3742 or experian.com

Transunion – 800.916.8800 or transunion.com

  • Keep an eye out for unusual emails or text messages, especially from the State of Washington or your financial institution.  These could be phishing attempts by hackers taking advantage of the recent data breach. These messages will usually include a call to action to provide information or an invitation to click a link.