When you drive this popular car, the company says “stay vigilant”
You trust the manufacturer of your car to keep you safe, but that’s not all. The manufacturer of your car also has a lot of your personal information – your address, phone number, social security number, date of birth, license plate … the list goes on and on. This is why the recent data breach, which may affect more than three million customers of two very popular brands of cars, has made so many people nervous. Read on to find out if you might be at risk and why the automaker is asking customers to “stay vigilant”.
Volkswagen Group of America has been sending data breach notifications to customers since June 11 of an incident that exposed millions of driver information to fraudsters, TechCrunch reported. The affected customers are contacted by the manufacturer, but assume that the stolen information was collected “for sales and marketing purposes at” 2014 until 2019 “, says the message.
Both Volkswagen customers and potential buyers have been disclosed due to this security breach, which the company is pending an unnamed vendor. Although most of the information was email, phone numbers, names, and addresses, more than 90,000 potential buyers in the U.S. had more sensitive information stolen, including driver’s license numbers (95 percent of sensitive information fell into this category), but also dates of birth in some cases and social security numbers.
“We have also informed the relevant authorities, including law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and are working with external cybersecurity experts and the provider to assess and respond to this situation,” a Volkswagen spokesman told TechCrunch about a crisis communications company.
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Almost all of those affected were Audi customers, one of Volkswagen’s luxury brands. (Volkswagen also owns Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, and other high-end brands.) “Based on our analysis to date, we believe the vast majority of information relates to Audi customers and prospective buyers in the United States.” The company announced this in a statement to Automotive News.
Of the 3.3 million customers whose information was affected, 3.1 million were Audi customers or those interested in Audi who made their information available.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our current or potential customers,” the company said in a statement to Automotive News.
As a result of the data breach, Volkswagen and Audi are calling on their customers to “stay alert to suspicious e-mails or other communications that may ask for further information about you or your vehicle”.
Specifically, they warn customers to look out for:
- Spam emails or other communications requesting sensitive personal information. “We will never request sensitive personal information (such as credit card numbers, social security numbers or passwords) via email or phone,” warns the company.
- Links or attachments from unsolicited third parties. “Unsolicited email could contain computer viruses or other types of computer malware,” they warn.
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As a result of the data breach, Volkswagen is working with the consumer protection platform IDX to offer customers free credit protection services. “IDX’s identity protection services include: 24 months of credit and CyberScan monitoring, a $ 1,000,000 insurance reimbursement and fully managed identity theft recovery services should this occur,” Volkswagen told customers in the press release .
Volkswagen and Audi customers can sign up or ask questions by calling 833-406-2408 or visiting the IDX website. “We encourage anyone whose sensitive personal information is affected to use the free credit protection services offered (ie anyone who is notified that the following information has been affected: driver’s license number; date of birth; social security or social security number; account or loan number or tax identification number)” According to the IDX website, the registration deadline is 09/11/2021.
The company suggests that affected drivers “remain vigilant by checking bank statements and monitoring credit reports.” They also recommend getting a free copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion – that you are entitled to every 12 months. To request one, go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. If you are concerned that the data breach has affected you, you can also place fraud alerts or a security lock on your credit files.
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