Everyone that has any information listed in the state database with the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) has received, or should have by now, these letters with information about how there was a computing error that may or may not have sent some of your personal information to other clients within the FSSA.
I’d first like to state that I was one of the people that ended up receiving other families’ information. At one point, I received no less than 4 attached letters that may or may not have had any of the information (other than name & address of course, it was right there on the front) that is listed in the FSSA letter. I did not read them or do anything with them. I sent them back in the mail. How hard was that? Even if you didn’t want to do that, you could have always thrown them away or dropped them off at your local FSSA office the next time you came in or went by.
Not everyone in this world is bad and willing to try to scam you or use your information inappropriately. I am one of those people. I promise if I got your info, I didn’t attempt to use it for my own benefit. I wouldn’t want it to happen to me or my family, so why would I want to do it to someone else? Unfortunately, not everyone is like that and because of that fact, you should do what is stated on the second page of the letter from the FSSA in order to protect yourself and your families’ identity.
Here’s the letter from the FSSA:
Michael R. Pence, Governor
State of Indiana
Division of Family Resources
402 W. WASHINGTON STREET, ROOM W392
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46204-2747
June 30, 2013
Dear XXXXX XXXXX:
We are writing to inform you that some of your personal information may have been accidentally disclosed outside of the offices of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. We are very sorry this occurred. This letter explains what happened and how to contact FSSA if you have questions.
A contractor of FSSA’s Division of Family Resources, RCR Technology, committed a computer programming error in April. This error may have caused one of more of the notices FSSA mailed to you to be copied and inserted into mailings to other FSSA clients. You still received all of your notices. However, other FSSA clients also may have received copies of some of your documents by mistake.
The computer programming error was made on April 6, 2013. We discovered the error on May 10, 2013 and fixed it on May 21, 2013.
What was disclosed:
We want to be clear that we are not certain any of your information was accidentally disclosed to other FSSA clients; but, it might have been so we wanted to tell you about it.
This is the type of information that may have been disclosed:
- your name
- address and telephone number
- case number
- date of birth
- gender and race
- email address
- the type of benefits you receive and monthly benefit amount
- employer information
- some financial information such as monthly income and expenses, bank balances, and other assets
- certain medical information about you like the name of your provider, whether you receive disability benefits, and your medical status of condition
- certain information about your household members like name, gender, and date of birth
Our corrective action:
We are taking steps to make sure your case file does not include any information about other clients, and the case files for other clients do not contain any of your information.
We have asked RCR to prove to us that they are capable of performing the computer system support they are contracted to perform for FSSA and we have specifically asked for them to identify what improvements they are making in their process to prevent this type of error from happening again.
What you should do:
Because of the types of information disclosed, we want to make you aware of the free service for monitoring any fraudulent activity related to your credit. We encourage you to call the toll-free number of any of the three credit bureaus (listed below) to place a fraud alert of your credit report. There is no charge for this service.
As soon as one of the credit bureaus confirms your fraud alert, the other two will be automatically notified. A fraud alert can help prevent an identity thief from opening additional accounts in your name.
- Equifax: 1.888.766.0008;
www.equifax.com; Equifax Information Services, P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
- Experian: 1.888.397.3742;
www.experian.com; 955 American Lane, Schaumburgh, IL 60173
- TransUnion 1.800.680.7289;
www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division; PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
If you have any questions, please contact the FSSA call center at 1-800-403-0864.
Lance V. Rhodes
Director, Division of Family Resources
Here’s the letter from RCR:
251 North Illinois Street, Suite 1150 (317) 624-9500 phone
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 www.rcrtechnology.com
June 30, 2013
Dear XXXXX XXXXX:
We at RCR Technology Corporation apologize that our actions may have caused some of your information to be disclosed in error. We will do everything possible to prevent such an incident from happening again in the future. We value our relationship with the State of Indiana and our service to our fellow Hoosiers who are clients of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration.
Robert C Reed
RCR Technology Corporation
A few things first: The FSSA is apologizing, then stating what they are doing, what the company they’ve contracted is doing, and what you should do to protect yourself. They’ve written out a 2-page letter explaining everything—disclosing everything—in order to let you know what has occurred. They’re doing what they can and now what you to do what you need to in order to keep anyone from using that information improperly. (They can’t contact the credit companies for you without disclosing your information again, which is certainly not something they’re willing to do.)
RCR: That’s the worst 3-sentence apology I’ve ever read. Basically, they’re stating they’re sorry that this happened, we’ll try not to do it again, and that we don’t want the state to cut up our contract. End. That’s not really an apology so much as it’s a quick paragraph trying to portray that they are sorry. It comes across as more of an “I would really like to keep my job” statement than a sympathetic “I am truly sorry this occurred” statement.
The fact is, this computing error went on for more than a month undetected. That alone is pretty bad. With today’s technology, they [RCR] should have had some sort of checker built in to identify issues such as this if they were to arise. Of course, mistakes happen. It’s only natural. Problem? The way in which the state of Indiana has allowed RCR Technology to toss in this weak apology as though it would do us all any good.
Aside from going online, calling, or writing any of the 3 credit agencies listed by the FSSA toward the end of their letter, there are free services online you can also use in order to get the latest information and keep up to date on your credit history. It’s very important to note that if anyone has your information; it can be used at any time and just because it hasn’t yet doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. (Note: You can only get a free credit report once a year.)
Here are two quick online ways to check your credit and get updates to when new things (like someone attempting to open a line of credit) are added:
- Credit Karma
Completely free way to keep track of your credit. Sign up, give them the same information that you would to any of the credit agencies in order to prove your identity, then you can set up email alerts and check your credit score. It is, IMO, quicker and much nicer to look at than the credit agencies websites.
- All Clear ID
We were set up with this after one of our medical providers had an incident in which a computer was stolen from an employees’ home that had the ability to connect to their database, as long as the person that stole it could figure out the password to log in, then find the program, log into it, and access the records without them noticing. Since they never recovered the laptop, they sent an apology letter out to everyone and gave them 1 year of free identity theft protection. The website has a free version, BASIC, which is really about the same as the PRO version which we were given. Be sure to change to the BASIC version on signup, as PRO is $14.95 per month.
Be safe; know your rights and what you can do to protect your identity. Honestly, if you haven’t been checking out your credit report once a year for discrepancies, you could have put yourself at risk years ago. If you have any questions about anything that has occurred with this breach, contact the FSSA at the number provided near the end of their letter and they should be able to answer.