American Financial Resources faces a proposed class action over a December 2021 data breach in which the sensitive information of thousands of the residential mortgage company’s customers was accessed without authorization.
The 20-page case in California alleges American Financial Resources is to blame for the incident and made matters worse by waiting more than a month after determining what happened to contact victims.
Per the lawsuit, American Financial Resources found on February 4, 2022 that files containing consumers’ names and Social Security and driver’s license numbers, among other personally identifiable information, were accessed by an unauthorized party between December 6 and December 20, 2021. According to the case, the defendant first began to notify consumers of the incident around March 9, 2022.
As the suit tells it, American Financial’s notice of the cyberattack lacked information necessary for consumers to understand the scope and severity of the data breach, including how many people were affected, or when exactly it learned of the incident.
Moreover, the lapse in time between the breach and when affected customers were notified may have allowed hackers to sell the stolen information on the black market or dark web, or otherwise fraudulently use the data, the case alleges.
“The Data Breach happened because of Defendant’s inadequate cybersecurity, which caused Plaintiffs’ and Class members’ [personally identifiable information] to be accessed, exfiltrated, viewed, stolen and/or disclosed to unauthorized persons,” the filing says. “This action seeks to remedy these failings.”
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, two Alameda County, California residents, have experienced an uptick in spam emails, and have had their bank cards compromised, among other harms.
Per the complaint, American Financial knew or should have known that the sensitive information it collects during its normal course of business was a high-risk target for identity thieves.
The lawsuit looks to represent all California residents whose personally identifiable information was subject to the American Financial Resources data breach.
After its initial filing in Alameda County Superior Court on March 31, the suit was removed to California’s Northern District Court on May 3, 2022.
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