OPM Data Breach: What You Should Know to Protect Yourself

Jun 19, 2015
This month, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it had been the target of a data breach that potentially accessed millions of personnel records. The data breach has been described by federal officials as among the largest breaches of government data in the United States.
This month, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it had been the target of a data breach that potentially accessed millions of personnel records. The data breach has been described by federal officials as among the largest breaches of government data in the United States.

These records include personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, names, dates and places of birth, and addresses. Recent reports indicate that the breach may also include security-clearance information. Though exact numbers have not been released, it’s possible that 4.2 million current federal employees, as well as up to 10 million former federal employees and contractors, may have had their personal details accessed in the breach.

We advise all members who are employees or vendors of the federal government to closely monitor your accounts for suspicious activity. The OPM is offering 18 months of credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance at no cost to those impacted by the breach.

Check here for ways to protect yourself and learn more about keeping your identity secure online, including information on VRS Elite Fraud Resolution Services, available at no cost for members of Nusenda Credit Union. This service can assist you in performing all the steps below.

If you think that you are a victim of identity theft, call us immediately. Then take these steps:
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus and place a Fraud Alert on your credit report.
    • Equifax 1-800-685-1111
    • Experian 1-888-397-3742
    • TransUnion 1-800-888-4213
  • Close any accounts that were opened in your name without your permission.
  • File a report with your local law enforcement agency. Note your case/incident number and ask for a copy of the report; having the police report can help you clear your credit records.
  • Call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 to report that your card or number has been stolen.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or call 877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).
We will update this alert as the situation evolves.

Updated 7-10-2015

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has increased the number affected by the data breach, to 21.5 million Americans. Social Security numbers and other sensitive data were accessed in the security lapse.

Those affected now include anyone who submitted a background investigation form since the year 2000, according to the OPM. In addition to 19.7 million individuals who submitted forms to the OPM, 1.8 non-applicants (mostly applicants’ spouses) also had their Social Security numbers compromised.

The OPM will be sending letters to the 21.5 million who are affected in the coming weeks and offering 18 months of credit monitoring.

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