UPS loses data tape with personal information of 200,000

West Virginia officials are warning 200,000 current and former members of three health insurance plans for state employees that a backup tape with their personal information was lost last week.

What types of personal information?
Names, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and marital status.

What was the response?
State officials are notifying victims.

A toll-free hotline has been set up for affected personnel.

Officials recommended that victims contact one of the three major credit-monitoring agencies.

Details: The tape slipped out of a package shipped Oct. 12 by the Public Employees Insurance Agency to a Pennsylvania analyst using UPS. The vendor reported it missing on Oct. 16.

Officials believe the package came unglued in transit. They do not suspect theft.

The employee information was from the Public Employees Insurance Agency, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Access WV insurance pool.

Officials said that an individual would need data-processing equipment to access the personal information.

“As a human being, I’ve lost many things over the years only to find them,” said Sherry Keffer, a Department of Education employee. “I’m not too concerned at the moment. It looks like something they just can’t put their hands on right now.”

“It’s frightening,” said Terry Lively, a Department of Transportation employee. “You always hear about identity theft and this might put public workers at risk. I hope to find out more about it.”

For help: Affected personnel can call (800) 435-4351 with additional questions starting Wednesday at 8 a.m. EST.

Source: (Charleston Daily Mail), Oct. 23, “State employees say they expect missing information to be found

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