Calling all Customers!

Phone service hacks

AT&T announced in March that a collection of personal, private information about 73 million of the company’s former and current customers was breached.  Although the data was posted on the internet this year by the hacker enterprise known as MajorNelson, AT&T confirmed that the compilation of information stemmed from five years ago or even earlier.  Following the alleged flagrant and negligent disregard for maintaining appropriate security of its customer’s private records, AT&T has been named in a proposed class action lawsuit.  The breakdown of those impacted includes 7.6 million current customers and 65.4 million former customers. 

Despite news of the breach coming to the surface in March, a different hacker group asserts that it allegedly stole the same information about three years ago.  Among the pieces of data stolen from AT&T, some of the more critical elements include account numbers, passcodes, full names, and Social Security numbers.  Now, current and former customers are at a considerably higher risk of becoming subjected to identity theft.  Aside from the possible threat of fraud, the impacted consumers’ invasion of privacy is also a point of concern.  The consumers may now be forced to assess their own personal level of risk to determine if it is best, given their situation, to pay for and enroll in credit monitoring services and incur the cost of credit freezes and protection.

AT&T’s alleged failure to implement security measures that are consistent with industry standards is not the first disaster faced by the company.  In April, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its plan to issue partial refunds to customers that were misled by AT&T into believing that their data plans were truly unlimited.  As confirmed by the lawsuit filed in 2019, however, during a billing cycle, if customers used data over a certain threshold, AT&T would manipulate the customer’s functions of the service by reducing individual data speeds.  These two lawsuits may lead customers to question the company’s integrity in providing a reliable service.