Millions of Federal Employees Affected by OPM Data Breach
The Office of Personnel Management has reported as many as 2 million individuals affected by the hacking of a government investigation database have not been formally notified.
The cybersecurity attack discovered by the OPM in June 2015 has left upwards of 21 million Americans at risk of identity theft. This includes anyone who applied for a federal background check after 2000 as well as those who never worked directly for federal government but were a primary spouse or cohabitant of a background check applicant. The stolen records contained sensitive information including social security numbers, passwords, and fingerprints.
Formal notification letters regarding the database breach were sent beginning in September of 2015. Those who received a letter were offered identity restoration services and identity theft insurance to cover identity theft-related costs. However, about 10% of those letters were returned for various reasons. This leaves about 2 million people who have yet to be notified about the data breach. OPM said it has worked to update addresses for those people, and will begin sending duplicates of the original letter shortly.
If you are a federal government employee or contractor, if you applied for a background investigation after 2000, or if you were the spouse or cohabitant of an applicant you have reason to believe that you personal information was compromised. If you received a letter and would like to verify its authenticity, or if you did not receive a letter and think you may have been affected you can visit the OPM website here.
The OPM, Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are working together to place changes that will prevent data breaches in the future.
For those who have already experienced identity theft and need help restoring their identity or want to file a claim under the identity theft insurance, you may contact an OPM call center. Those impacted by the background investigations incident should call ID Experts at 800-750-3004.
If you are a federal employee and are curious how the background check data breach affects your benefits packages contact a specialist here. We can guide you through your options and help you make an informed decision regarding your money.
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