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Washington State Auditor Data Breach – 2020

Tools & Advice

Washington State Auditor Data Breach – 2020
Set up Alerts and Notifications within online banking to be notified when transactions hit accounts and when balances drop below a threshold.


The Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO) recently announced that one of their third-party providers experienced a security breach on December 25, 2020. Anyone who filed an unemployment claim between January 1 and December 10, 2020 may have had their name, social security number, and/or banking information compromised. The SAO will contact those who were affected.

More information is available here.

The SAO will make resources available to help each affected individual take measures to protect their identity. The SAO is currently in the process of arranging for such services and will post that information as soon as it is available.

What steps can you take to protect yourself today?

  • Sign up for Sound’s free Online Banking and reduce paper statements by signing up for Bill Pay and eStatements.
  • Contact Sound to establish a password or passcode on your account to ensure only authorized users can access account information.
  • Review your credit report, looking for suspicious or unknown transactions. Members can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on credit reports if you think your data might have been included in the compromise.

Pro Tip:

Set up Alerts and Notifications within online banking to be notified when transactions hit accounts and when balances drop below a threshold

  • Go to Additional Services -> Alerts & Text Banking -> Add an alert +.
  • Select the type of alert desired: options include balance updates, low balance, large withdrawals, and check cleared.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should a member do if they see unauthorized account access?
Contact Sound immediately with the details of the unauthorized transaction. Be sure to make note if you have any outstanding checks or uncleared debit card transactions. Also, make a note of any recurring loan payments, ACH deposits or withdrawals, as well as bill pays.

How will a member know if their data was compromised in this breach?
Sound does not have access to any details about this breach. The SAO will contact you if your data was in the compromise.

If a member was on unemployment and had their benefits direct deposit to a bank or credit union other than Sound, what should they do with Sound?
Based on the information that the SAO has made publicly available, we believe that the direct deposit bank information is what may have been compromised. We recommend contacting that bank or credit union, and encourage you to continue to monitor their Sound account and credit reports as well.

What if a member does not want to wait for the SAO to arrange a resource for them?
You can learn more about our Fraud-Defender solution here.