2 Million Affected By A Data Breach Involving A Debt Collection Agency - Full Names, Birth Dates, And Social Security Numbers Compromised

Hackers gained access to Financial Business and Consumer Solutions (FBCS)'s network for a period of 12 days. Experiencing a loan or bill being sent to collections is already challenging, but now, one of the largest debt collection agencies in the United States has disclosed that it has been impacted by a data breach, leading to the exposure of borrower information online.

FBCS, a debt collection agency with national licensing, specializes in recovering outstanding debts from various sectors such as credit card companies, healthcare providers, auto dealerships, student loan providers, and utility companies. Unlike other entities you may engage with, once your loan or bill is under FBCS’ management, you are bound to their services.

In a data breach notice (.PDF) sent to the Attorney General’s office in Maine, FBCS detailed that hackers initially infiltrated its network on February 14, 2024. The unauthorized individual persisted within the network until February 26, during which they managed to “observe or obtain specific data on the FBCS network.” Within this 12-day timeframe, they had access to the complete names, Social Security numbers (SSNs), birth dates, account details, and driver’s license numbers or ID card numbers of nearly 2 million U.S. citizens.

Armed with this data, the hackers responsible for the breach can potentially initiate focused phishing schemes, engage in fraudulent activities, or employ social engineering tactics for identity theft. Although FBCS has not offered affected individuals complimentary access to a leading identity theft protection service, they have arranged for 12 months of credit monitoring with Cyex.

Upon receiving a data breach notification similar to the one linked above, your initial step should be to take FBCS’ offer for 12 months of credit monitoring. This service enables you to promptly detect any fraudulent activity or potential identity theft involving your Social Security Number (SSN) or other personal details. While having access to a dedicated identity theft protection service would have been preferable, credit monitoring can still serve as an effective early warning system.

Additionally, it is crucial to diligently monitor all financial transactions and bank statements to ensure that unauthorized access is not occurring. Given the extensive exposure of personal information resulting from this breach, exercising caution when checking your email is essential. The perpetrators of the breach may utilize your data to create sophisticated scam and phishing emails. Therefore, refrain from clicking on any links in such emails and avoid downloading attachments, as they could contain harmful malware.

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