NEW MILFORD, Conn., Dec. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Town of New Milford ("the Town") is providing notice of a recent data incident that may affect the security of certain personal information within its email system. To date, the Town has no indication that any information has been misused as a result of this incident. However, in an abundance of caution, the Town is providing information about the incident, steps they are taking in response, and steps individuals may take to better protect their personal information.
On or around October 3, 2019, the Town became aware of unusual account activity related to the Town's email environment. The Town immediately took steps to investigate this activity, which included working with expert third-party forensic investigators. Through the investigation, the Town determined that an individual accessed certain emails within the Town's email environment without authorization. The Town immediately took steps to terminate this access to the Town's email environment and is providing notice of this incident so that those individuals whose information may have been present in the email account at the time of the unauthorized access are aware of this event. The accessed email environment may have included personal information for certain individuals affiliated with the Town, including current or former employees and residents.
The Town takes this matter, and the security and privacy of information, very seriously. In addition to conducting a diligent investigation into this issue, the Town immediately terminated the individual's access to Town systems upon discovery of this issue. The Town is reviewing and taking steps to enhance their security safeguards. Local law enforcement was notified of this incident. The Town continues to cooperate with law enforcement as the investigation continues.
In an abundance of caution, the Town is notifying potentially affected individuals so that they may take further steps to protect their personal information, should they feel it is appropriate to do so. The Town is also providing access to credit monitoring and identity restoration services through Kroll at no cost to potentially affected individuals. The Town encourages potentially affected residents to enroll in these services and to review the information it is providing, which contains details on what they can do to protect their personal information, should they feel it is appropriate to do so. This information is also included below and is available on the Town's website at www.newmilford.org.
The Town sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern this incident may have caused. Potentially affected individuals may call the dedicated assistance line at 1-844-967-1235, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET for more information.
Steps Individuals Can Take To Protect Personal Information
Under U.S. law, consumers are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Consumers may also contact the three major credit bureaus listed below directly to request a free copy of a credit report.
Consumers have the right to place a "security freeze" on a credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer's express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in the consumer's name without consent. However, it should be noted that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in a credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application made regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, a consumer cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on a credit report. To place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
In order to request a security freeze, the following information will be required:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, consumers have the right to place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer's credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. Victims of identity theft are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. To place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); or TTY 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has been delayed by law enforcement.
SOURCE The Town of New Milford