Sources: Bucks players’ financial data compromised in scam

Shams Charania

After a security breach with the Milwaukee Bucks in which players’ financial documents were released, the franchise has involved the NBA and National Basketball Players Association to investigate the scam that compromised private information, league sources told The Vertical.

In an email sent to Milwaukee players on Wednesday night, the franchise termed the issue as a “serious security incident” and took responsibility for an employee distributing 2015 IRS W-2 documents in an email scam in which team president Peter Feigin was impersonated, sources said.

The W-2 information included names, addresses, Social Security numbers, compensation information and dates of birth. An unknown party requested the private documents on April 26, and the Bucks ultimately discovered on May 16 that the financial forms were sent to a spoof hacker, according to the email sent to players.

In the correspondence, the Bucks said they were notifying the IRS and FBI about the incident.

Player representatives with clients on the Bucks during the 2015 fiscal year are working to secure the safety of their players’ finances.

“The communication received on this major security breach is unacceptable,” one agent with a client on the Bucks told The Vertical. “The players need to know the exact measures being taken by the Bucks and the FBI to ensure each and every player's identity and financial information will not be compromised. There needs to be accountability for such a mistake, details on the steps taken to rectify it and a process put in place to make sure this never happens again.”

There could be severe consequences of the information being compromised. Professional sports teams with millions in equity are supposed to have security measures in place to prevent such incidents.

"We take this incident, and the privacy and security of our employees, very seriously," the team said in a statement. "We immediately launched an investigation, which is aggressive and ongoing. We quickly notified impacted individuals and are arranging for these individuals to have access to three years of credit monitoring and non-expiring identity restoration services.

"We believe this incident arose as a result of human error, and are providing additional privacy training to our staff and implementing additional preventative measures.”

Milwaukee had a 33-49 record this season and has the No. 10 pick in the 2016 NBA draft.

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