Oklahoma DHS clients at risk after laptop theft

A laptop containing the personal information of about half a million Oklahoma residents was recently stolen from an employee of the state Department of Human Services (DHS).

How many victims? Almost 500,000 households are being notified.

What type of personal information? Names, Social Security numbers and birthdates for people who receive DHS services.

What happened? The computer was taken April 3 from an employee's car.

Quote: “The risk of the data being accessed is low because the computer uses a password-protected system,” said Howard H. Hendrick, director of Okla. DHS. “Nevertheless, we have contacted our clients to inform them there is a possibility their personal information may be viewed.”

What was the response? Oklahoma City police and DHS officials are investigating the theft. A toll-free call center was established for DHS clients with questions about possible identity theft.

Source:, NewsOK, “Oklahoma DHS warns of possible information leak after laptop stolen,” April 23, 2009.

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