Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wisconsin Exposes 170,000 SSN to Identity Theft

Closing out a record year for identity theft,
the state of Wisconsin
mistakenly mailed
out this past Friday 170,000 tax form packets

with resident's social security numbers (ssn)
printed on the outside
address labels.


Wisconsin-Exposes-170,000-SSN-to-Identity-Theft-audio-post - click to play

Although a printing company hired for the mailing
was at fault, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue
is working to retrieve the undelivered mail from
the US Postal Service.

"It's a serious breach, for sure"

This security breach impacts an estimated 15% of
the 1.1 million booklets mailed to individual taxpayers
who file their returns by mail.

So, our tip for today is for anyone who is or knows of
a Wisconsin tax payer who files their returns by mail.
Especially if that person has been out of town traveling
for the holidays, make sure to immediately retrieve
their delivered mail.

Also, take advantage of Wisconsin's new credit freeze law
which took effect January 1st.

Contact any of the three major credit bureaus to place a
credit freeze on your personal file. This will serve to
restrict access by unauthorized parties to your credit
file without your knowledge.

7 Comments:

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

DUHH

I mean with 170,000 packets you don't think that ANYONE would have noticed an obvious and mysterious number on the OUTSIDE of any of the packets?

The more and more i read about this the more I think that people are left vulnerable becasue of absolutely careless mistakes like so (or perhaps even a laptop theft as well).

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Nathan said:

...The more and more i read about this the more I think that people are left vulnerable becasue of absolutely careless mistakes like so (or perhaps even a laptop theft as well).
------

We agree.

The consistent theme through out most of 2005 and 2006 was careless handling of consumer information by companies, medical & educational institutions were the cause of the majority of security breaches resulting in potential identity theft.

 
At 11:58 AM, Blogger Nathan said...

So what do you think the immediate solution would be?

It is rather difficult to tell people to simply be more careful...I feel like we've been doing that for the past 20 years. Doing this gives people a gray-ish solution, which only moderately works in a world where people want a black or white solution.

The other issue is that telling these people that their solutions rest on their own shoulders is a difficult idea to get through to many "big time" and prestegious executives.

 
At 9:40 PM, Blogger agent99 said...

Nathan asked:

So what do you think the immediate solution would be?
----

A: Simple solution, force the FTC to aggressively enforce the existing laws on the books such as FACTA which assess stiff penalties and punitive damages to companies which do not safeguard consumer data but add the personal liability of the CEO and board members.

Secondly, make the credit freeze laws, now available in roughly half of the United States universal for all.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger john said...

Nice post about the Wisconsin Department of Revenue...............
================================
simmons
Wisconsin Alcohol Addiction Treatment

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger bechem said...

Hi
The other issue is that telling these people that their solutions rest on their own shoulders is a difficult idea to get through to many "big time" and prestegious executives.
-----------------------------------
bechem
Wisconsin Alcohol Addiction Treatment

 
At 1:00 AM, Anonymous ifraud said...

The high number of internet crimes is very worrying. And f you consider the economic crisis, the numbers will grow even more..

 

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