Error may have disclosed info of 187,000+ FSSA clients

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A computer error may have inadvertently disclosed the personal information of more than 187,000 clients of the Family and Social Services Administration—including about 4,000 clients whose social security numbers may have been disclosed.

The FSSA said the possible breach happened when RCR Technology Corporation, a contractor, made a computer programming error on a document management system. This caused some information to be duplicated to clients and some clients may have received documents belonging to other people.

The mistake affected documents sent between April 6 and May 21, the FSSA said. RCR corrected the problem on May 21. FSSA sent notices to more than 187,000 clients to let them know that their information may have been disclosed.

The information included names, addresses, case numbers, birthdates, telephone numbers, email addresses and demographic information. It also included the types of benefits, monthly benefit amounts, employer information, financial data such as monthly income and expenses, bank balances and assets, medical information and information about other people in the household. The FSSA said 3,926 clients may have had their social security numbers disclosed.

The agency said it’s impossible to know specifically which clients were affected, and has notified all FSSA clients. The FSSA said people who receive a letter may not necessarily have had their information disclosed—the letter means the potential exists.

FSSA clients are advised to do what they can to protect themselves against identity theft, taking steps like placing a fraud alert on their credit report. A fraud alert places a note on a credit report for 90 days requiring creditors to verify identity before granting credit. There is no charge.

Clients whose social security information may have been disclosed are urged to place a security freeze on their credit reports. The move could block an identity thief from opening a new account or getting credit in the client’s name. Any Indiana resident can request a security freeze at no charge by contacting all three credit agencies below either online or by sending a letter:

Equifax Security Freeze; 1-888-766-0008
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348

Experian Security Freeze; 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013

Trans Union Security Freeze; 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

For more information, clients should visit the Indiana Consumer website and click on “Identity Theft” and then “Credit Freeze.” They are also encouraged to call the FSSA call center at 1-800-403-0864 if they have questions or want more information.

Anyone who’s received another client’s information by mistake should return the material or shred it.

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