FREMONT, Calif., March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 6, 2017, Friedman & Perry, CPA's learned that some of their clients had received notification letters regarding their filed or attempted 2016 tax returns. Knowing that neither they nor the clients' had filed the returns, Friedman & Perry, CPA's immediately began an investigation into the matter. That same day Friedman & Perry, CPA's contacted their IT consultant, ensured that all system passwords were changed and user information was secure, and started running scans and reviewing their systems to identify any malware on their network. None was found. They have further contacted the IRS and FTB, and they hired a specialized forensic IT firm for additional investigation.
On February 16, 2017, the specialized forensic IT firm determined that hackers had gained unauthorized access to Friedman & Perry, CPA's system from a foreign IP address. Through investigation, Friedman & Perry, CPA's has discovered that the unauthorized access occurred between June 15, 2016 and January 30, 2017.
Specifically, if you are or were an individual Friedman & Perry, CPA's client, this information may have included your: name, date of birth, telephone number(s), address, social security number, employment (W-2) information, 1099 information (including account number if provided to Friedman & Perry, CPA's), and direct deposit bank account number and routing information if provided to Friedman & Perry, CPA's.
If you are or were an entity client, this information may have included your: company name, federal employer identification number, address, telephone number; employee and/or 1099-recipient information (including account number if provided to Friedman & Perry, CPA's); and partner, shareholder/officer or beneficiary names, addresses, and social security numbers.
If you are or were an employee, partner or shareholder of a Friedman & Perry, CPA's client, then the information may have included your: name, date of birth, telephone number(s), address, social security number, employment (W-2) information, and 1099 information (including account number if provided to Friedman & Perry, CPA's), or the corollary business information.
In addition to the steps outlined above, Friedman & Perry, CPA's notified the FBI, all three consumer reporting bureaus, the applicable state agencies, and they are reviewing office policies and procedures. They also hired additional IT security experts, and they are working with law enforcement in their investigation of the criminals.
Given the nature of the information potentially exposed, Friedman & Perry, CPA's strongly recommends the following steps be taken:
- Change all bank account numbers provided to Friedman & Perry, CPA's, or at a minimum remain vigilant by reviewing account statements.
- Establish and monitor free 90 day fraud alerts with the three credit reporting bureaus. Their telephone numbers and addresses are: Equifax (1-888-766-0008; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374), Experian (1-888-397-3742; P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013), and TransUnion (1-800-680-7289; P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022-2000).
- Consider placing a credit freeze on your accounts. For more information: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs
- If you become a victim of identity theft, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://identitytheft.gov. The FTC also provides detailed and specific information about identity theft at their website, which you should review.
Lastly, you are entitled to a free credit report every year from each of these agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com and one year of complimentary credit monitoring through AllClear ID has been purchased for you should you be affected.
Protecting your information is incredibly important to Friedman & Perry, CPA's. If you have any concerns or believe you may be affected, please call at 1-855-725-5770, or write at 39560 Stevenson Place, Suite 112, Fremont, CA 94539.
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SOURCE Friedman & Perry, CPA’s