IRVING, Texas, July 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. (“CED”) became aware of unusual activity in an employee’s email account and launched an investigation with the assistance of a third-party forensic investigator to determine the full nature and scope of what occurred. Through this investigation, CED determined that certain employees fell victim to an email phishing scam that led to their credentials being compromised and an unknown actor gained access to their email accounts between August 11, 2019 and November 11, 2019. The email credentials were changed, and the email accounts are now secure.
The content of the accounts was reviewed through a time-consuming manual and programmatic process to determine what sensitive data may have been accessible. CED confirmed the types of protected information contained in the affected email accounts and the locations of the individuals and businesses to which the information relates. Although CED is unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of any information, CED is providing notification of this incident out of an abundance of caution.
While, to date, the investigation has found no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of data, CED did determine that the email accounts affected by this incident may include name, payment card information, Social Security number, financial account information, passport number, driver’s license or other government issued ID number, treatment information, patient account number, medical record number, and/or username and password.
Upon learning of this incident, CED quickly took steps to determine the content of the impacted accounts and identify the potentially impacted individuals and entities. CED also notified the necessary regulatory bodies. Additionally, while CED has safeguards in place to protect data in its care, CED is working to review and enhance these protections as part of its ongoing commitment to data privacy and security.
On July 14, 2020, CED began mailing notice letters to individuals and businesses whose information may have been present in the affected email accounts. CED offered the affected individuals access to credit monitoring and identity restoration services for one year without charge. CED is also encouraging individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review account statements, and to monitor credit reports and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity and to detect errors, as well as providing more information on steps individuals may take to protect personal information.
CED has set up a dedicated assistance line to answer questions regarding this incident. Individuals and businesses who have questions about the incident are encouraged to call CED’s dedicated assistance line at 1-844-951-2882 Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT (excluding U.S. holidays). More information on steps individuals may take to protect personal information is also available below.
Steps You May Take To Protect Personal Information
Monitor Your Accounts
Under U.S. law, consumers are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
Consumers have the right to place a “security freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in the consumer’s credit report without express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.
The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
SOURCE Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc.