Volkswagen Group of America announced in June 2021 that a large-scale data breach exposed the personal information of 3.3 million of their North American customers and prospective buyers. Unfortunately, one of their vendors failed to safeguard the personal data collected from August 2019 to May 2021 leading to the leak of customer information for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.
What information was involved?
A forensic analysis revealed that 97 percent of the exposed records were related to customers and interested buyers of Audi vehicles. The data mainly contained names and contact details, but for 90,000 individuals it also included sensitive personal information. More than 95 percent of those records included driver’s license numbers and in some cases social security numbers.
What the VW Group is doing.
Volkswagen Group of America has begun the process of notifying all those impacted. For the 90,000 individuals with sensitive data exposed, they will offer free credit protection and a $1 million insurance policy against identity theft. If you inquired about their vehicles or purchased one during this time period, you will likely be contacted by the company.
What you can do.
While we all face risks related to online fraud, there are steps you can take to safeguard your business and personal information. Here are the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recommendations to help keep your personal and customer data secure. As always, continue to stay alert for suspicious emails or other communications that may request your personal information.