Haeco leaked confidential employee information for 3,000 employees
Employees of Haeco Americas LLC filed a proposed class action in North Carolina federal court on Tuesday, saying it violated privacy laws by falling for a phishing scheme, emailing the sensitive tax information of at least 3,000 workers to cyber criminals. Haeco Americas LLC is a aircraft maintenance firm in North Carolina.
A complaint filed by three Haeco employees stated that a worker at the company fell for a phishing scheme, replying to an email from a hacker posing as a company executive by sending an unencrypted data file containing workers’ 2015 W-2 tax data and other personal information.
The leak exposed Social Security numbers and other information of an estimated 3,000 employees, the complaint says, which the hacker then used to file false tax returns and request transcripts from the IRS.
The allegations include that Haeco compounded the harm by failing to give timely notice to employees so they could mitigate the damage once the breach occurred, taking two weeks to tell employees that their W-2 information, which includes names, Social Security numbers and wages.
Employees were first notified that a data breach was suspected around April 16 ONLY after several employees reported issues with their tax returns.
An email from CEO Kevin Carter to employees on April 19 about the leak also did not say an unknown hacker was responsible.
Workers didn’t learn they were victims of a phishing scam until April 29, when they received another letter saying that Haeco became aware of the data breach on April 15 and the disclosure was the result of a phishing scam.
The complaint filed by well known NC consumer attorney Jean Martin, accuses Haeco of negligence, invasion of privacy, and violations of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Identity Theft Protection Act, saying the company did not take proper steps to prevent leaks or tell employees about the breach quickly enough for them to take action.
O'Malley Tunstall, PLLC is currently investigating claims that Haeco leaked confidential employee information for 3,000 employees through Joe Tunstall in our Class Action department. Please call to discuss.