National Industrial Hemp Council Data Breach

By
Will Gendron
Mar 27, 2024 3:22 PM
Affected by the National Industrial Hemp Council data breach? Personal info including SSNs, addresses, and more may have been exposed. Learn steps to protect yourself.

Understanding the National Industrial Hemp Council Data Breach

The National Industrial Hemp Council of America (NIHC) recently fell victim to an email compromise, resulting in unauthorized access to a single business email account. This incident, discovered on November 15, 2023, led to potential exposure of personal information stored within the compromised email account. The types of information that may have been accessed include names, Social Security numbers, addresses, ZIP codes, driver's license numbers, and dates of birth.

NIHC, a leader in the industrial hemp sector, provides valuable networking and resources to its members. Their commitment to privacy and security is paramount, and they have expressed sincere regret over any concern caused by this breach. To learn more about NIHC, you can visit their website.

In response to the breach, NIHC has taken several actions to mitigate the impact on affected individuals. They have engaged Kroll, a global leader in identity risk mitigation, to offer 24 months of complimentary identity monitoring services. These services include Credit Monitoring, Fraud Consultation, and Identity Theft Restoration. To activate these services, affected individuals should visit Kroll's enrollment page and follow the provided instructions.

Furthermore, NIHC has informed law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, FTC, and local police, to support their efforts in investigating and apprehending the cybercriminals responsible for the breach.

Steps to Take if You Are Affected

If you believe your information may have been compromised in this breach, it is crucial to stay vigilant and take the following steps:

  • Review Your Accounts: Regularly check your account statements and credit reports for any unauthorized activity. Obtain your free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com or by contacting the national credit reporting companies directly.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you detect any fraudulent transactions or identity theft, report them immediately to the appropriate law enforcement authorities, including your local police, state attorney general, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can file a complaint with the FTC at www.IdentityTheft.gov.
  • Consider a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents potential creditors from accessing your credit report, thus hindering the opening of new accounts in your name. Contact Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to place a freeze on your credit.
  • Place a Fraud Alert: Placing a fraud alert on your credit file notifies creditors to verify your identity before extending new credit. This can be done by contacting any one of the three major consumer reporting agencies.

For more detailed information on how to protect your personal information and what to do in the event of identity theft, please refer to the FTC's guide on identity theft.

Additional Resources and Assistance

NIHC has provided an extensive list of resources and contact information for various state attorney generals and consumer protection agencies. These resources can offer further guidance and support to those affected by the data breach. For Massachusetts residents, you can find the disclosure on the Massachusetts Attorney General's website.

NIHC's proactive response and the availability of identity monitoring services demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of their members and affected individuals. By taking the recommended steps and utilizing the resources provided, you can better protect your personal information and respond effectively to this unfortunate event.

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