Due to the negligence of a supplier leaving the data unsecured online, Volkswagen 3.3 million customers and prospective buyers information has been leaked. The leaked information contained names, addresses, emails and phone numbers that Volkswagen had gathered for sales and marketing purposes. However, around 90,000 potential loan clients in the US and Canada also had more sensitive data exposed including driver’s license numbers and in a “small” number of cases, date of birth and social security numbers.
The customer data from 2014-2019 has been left exposed by a unnamed vendor used by Volkswagen, Audi and authorized dealers between August 2019 and May 2021, an automaker wrote in a customer letter. Although, the misuse of the data by the scammers has not yet been confirmed. According to a spokesperson, the concerned and appropriate authorities, comprising of law enforcements and regulators are being involved and these authorities are working hand in hand with the experts of cyber-security and the vendor to assess and respond to this situation.
The data and information that a driver’s license and social security numbers can provide is very valuable to hackers, especially if combined with addresses, phone numbers and other data. The hackers and scammers misuse all such information promoting identity theft scamming of credit card and other frauds. A car Insurance company GEICO where recently customer insurance breach took place, they believe that the hackers and scammers have stolen the drivers license numbers and applied for unemployment benefits. In a letter Volkswagen said that, “It has partnered with IDX to provide customers with free credit protection services, including monitoring, insurance reimbursement and identity theft recover services, “should that occur.”