Breach, Threat Intelligence, Data Security

BBB warns of fake OPM notification letters

The Better Business Bureau published a notice to help potential victims of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breach and others determine whether letters claiming to be from the OPM are legitimate.

The blog post warns potential victims that legitimate letters include OPM acting director Beth F. Cobert's signature, information about how to sign up for credit monitoring, and includes an identification code to receive free ID theft insurance. “Website and telephone information is provided to enroll in monitoring services,” the BBB noted. “A warning is included that no government or credit monitoring personnel will contact employees by email or telephone.”

Last month, the OPM launched a website to help potential victims check whether their personal information was stolen as part of the June breach. OPM has struggled with long delays notifying victims whose information was compromised.

Breach victims were skeptical upon receiving notification letters, since many of the victims did not even release personal details were stored by the OPM. Reports indicated that 21.5 million victims' personal details were compromised. The compromised personal details included not only government employees, but also victims who applied for a government job, journalists who cover the White House or federal agencies, and even individuals who only volunteered at a Veterans Administration (VA) location.

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