Envelopes mailed to 26k retired government employees in N.C. exposes SSNs

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Envelopes containing a tax form mailed in late January to retired government employees in North Carolina may have revealed the recipients' Social Security numbers.

How many victims? 26,000.

What type of personal information? Social Security numbers.

What happened? Envelopes delivered to 26,000 retired North Carolina government workers may have partially or fully exposed their Social Security numbers.

What was the response? Letters went out from the Retirement Systems Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer warning former state workers to monitor their financial statements for indications of identity theft. The advisory also offered recipients a free credit report from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Details: Between Jan. 18 and Jan. 23, beneficiaries of North Carolina's government workers retirement plan were sent envelopes from the Retirement Systems Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer containing Retirement Systems 1099R forms, which lists 2012 benefits for income tax purposes. The mass mailing was handled by a third-party provider, Professional Mail Services, and "due to a misalignment of printing," Social Security numbers of 26,000 recipients were partially or fully displayed. The alert subsequently sent to those affected says the total number impacted is thought to be much smaller.

Source: http://blogs.newsobserver.com/business, The News & Observer, 26,000 NC retirees warned of security breach,” Feb. 22, 2013.


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