Cetera Financial Group Hacked and Client Personal Information Disclosed, Options Exist for Victims

Chicago based Stoltmann Law Offices represents victims of identity and data-breaches nationwide in class representation or FINRA arbitration to recover damages caused from data breaches by brokerage firms, investment companies, and other institutions which are obligated to keep your private information safe.  We are currently investigating claims made by the Maine Attorney General’s office which was reported this week against Cetera Financial Group.  According to the the report, the Social Security numbers of 2,188 Cetera clients were potentially exposed when a printer company used by Cetera, R.R. Donnelly, was reportedly hacked.

The cybersecurity of proprietary information for brokerage firm clients is a huge issue for regulators. As the world continues to be run through electronic means using the internet and electronic storage networks, the security of those systems is of paramount importance.  Hackers gain access to this information and then sell it en masse on the dark web to criminals who will use the credentials they obtain to hack into the personal financial accounts and cellular phone accounts of unsuspecting victims sometimes to ruinous ends.  If you have been notified by Cetera that your information was potentially exposed or compromised, you have legal claims that can be pursued against both Cetera and R.R. Donnelly.  These companies have strict compliance obligations to ensure these hacks do not happen. In some instances, these hacks are the result of poor security controls and could be preventable.

In January 2021, it was reported that thousands of Voya Financial Advisors’ clients’ personal identifiable information was exposed as the result of a Russian hack. As a result of that hack, Voya Financial Advisors paid a $1 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission The SEC Order and fine was based on the allegations that Voya Financial lacked sufficient written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with Rule 30 of Regulation S-P, 17 C.F.R. § 248.30(a), known as the “Safeguard Rule”. The SEC also alleged that Voya Financial failed to develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program, in violation of Rule 201of Regulation S-ID, 17 C.F.R. § 248.201, which is known as the Identity Theft Red Flags Rule.

Cetera has likely offered victims free credit monitoring services, but sometimes that is not enough and these hacks lead to real losses and damages. If you have suffered financial losses as a result of being hacked, you could have a claim to pursue to recover those losses.  Contact Stoltmann Law Offices at 312-332-4200 for a consultation with a securities lawyer to determine if you have a claim to pursue.

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