Every employee is forced to trust their most basic personal identification information to their employer, including names, addresses, and perhaps most importantly social security numbers. Accordingly, employers owe a duty to their employees to securely maintain that information in confidence, and they must maintain sufficient safeguards to prevent criminals from accessing that information.
Unfortunately, it appears that Seagate Technology failed in its duty to maintain the security of its employees’ personal identification information. As Seagate itself has confirmed, on March 1, 2016, scammers were able to execute a phishing scam which resulted in their obtaining w-2 tax forms for former and current Seagate employees.
Seagate has sent written notice to effected employees, and it has offered free credit monitoring for two years. However, credit monitoring won’t protect employees from tax refund scams, and with a w-2, the criminals can easily file a tax returns in an employees’ name to get the refund. Moreover, it is not clear that Seagate is adequately addressing this massive security failure, or that Seagate employees are not vulnerable owing to other potential Seagate security weaknesses.
If you or someone you knows received a notice from Seagate confirming that your w-2 was illegally accessed, contact us to discuss your legal options.