In the wake of a data breach in the state's unemployment department, roughly 225,000 Massachusetts residents, those who are getting jobless benefits or those who have recently used a state career center computer, are at risk for becoming fraud victims More than 1,000 state employees may also be affected.
What should you do if you think you're information might have been breached? Be on the look out for:
- Approved credit card applications you never applied for.
- Individuals calling your home and asking for personal information.
- Unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts.
Those who think they may be affected can set up a fraud alert or credit freeze with the nation's three big credit agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Joanne Goldstein, declined to comment on Morning Edition Wednesday on the ongoing investigation to track down those responsible for the virus and the breach, but said that state services will not be affected. She also expressed confidence that something like this would not happen again.
"I am confident we will be able to avoid it happening again, but as many companies, other government entities and individuals have experienced, that's not always possible, but we are doing our best," Goldstein said.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development has set up a hotline (877-232-6200) that will be staffed for extended hours over the next two weeks.
Below is a list of additional resources if you think you're personal information might have been compromised:
- Identity Theft Information
- Protecting Yourself
- Official release from the Office of Labor and Workforce Development
This program aired on May 18, 2011.