PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., Sept. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Communities Connected for Kids, Inc. ("CCK"), announced that a recent event may have impacted the security of personal information relating to certain residents of Georgia. While CCK already mailed direct written notification letters regarding the incident to impacted Georgia residents on September 3, 2019, they are also providing information to media outlets serving Georgia about the event and steps individuals may take to better protect against the possibility of identity theft and fraud, should they feel it is necessary to do so.
What Happened? On March 15, 2019, CCK was advised by its third-party vendor about suspicious activity relating to databases storing CCK information. CCK immediately began investigating the nature and scope of the incident with assistance from an outside computer forensics expert. On April 10, 2019, the investigation determined that between August of 2018 and March of 2019, an unauthorized actor was able to gain access to information stored in internal databases that contain sensitive information relating to client children who receive services through CCK and their parents.
What Information Was Involved? CCK determined that the type of information potentially impacted may vary by individual and that the following types of information may be impacted: name, contact information (including email address, mailing address, and phone number), Social Security number, Driver's license number, financial information, date of birth, Medicaid number, and notes relating to comprehensive behavioral health assessments (including medical diagnosis and treatment information, and family history information), and health insurance information.
What CCK is Doing. CCK takes the privacy and security of sensitive information within its care very seriously. Since learning of this issue, CCK took immediate steps to identify the issues that allowed unauthorized access to its databases to occur and is working hard to address them. CCK has taken every necessary step to investigate this incident and the impact it may have on children, parents, and others involved in the child-welfare system in Florida that may have been affected. Due to the age and nature of much of the impacted information, a thorough and time-consuming review was necessary to determine address information for affected individuals so CCK could mail written notice of the incident.
In an effort to make affected individuals aware of the incident as quickly as possible, CCK previously published notice about the incident on its website and to news media outlets throughout Florida on May 14, 2019.
As an added precaution, CCK is also offering impacted individuals access to complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services through Equifax. The cost of this service will be paid for by CCK.
CCK also notified the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), and certain state data privacy regulators.
What Potentially Affected Individuals Can Do. Individuals who believe they may be impacted by this incident can call the dedicated confidential assistance line detailed below or find out more about how to protect against potential identity theft and fraud in the enclosed Steps You Can Take to Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft.
For More Information. If you believe you or a child in your care may have been impacted by this incident and have questions, please call CCK's dedicated confidential assistance line at 1-877-565-6281, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm ET.
STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO BETTER PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION
We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
You have the right to place a "security freeze" on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on your file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer's credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19106
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.
The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.