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Data breach puts local social security numbers at risk

SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – Many have had to learn to live with data breaches and the loss of personal information. But it’s still a frustrating and worrying experience when it happens. Now, many in the Sioux Falls area are the next to receive notifications that their information may be stolen.

A letter sent by AAA Collections informs many that their names and social security numbers may have been compromised. The data breach dates back to a three-day period in early September, when the company’s computer system was compromised. When it was found and stopped, documents with names and social security numbers were copied. South Dakota law requires that any major violation be reported to the Attorney General’s office and notices be sent to all those who may be affected.

“South Dakota law states that if more than 250 people are affected by a data breach, the business has a responsibility to send a notice to those affected parties,” said Jody Gillaspie, director of the South Dakota Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Agency Dakota.

One of those who received the letter is JR Murray. Murray only got the letter on Monday, but he’s heard from others who have also received one.

“I had two friends who contacted me yesterday and mentioned that they had also received the letters. They asked me if I got one. I told them I did it and they were really upset for the same reason,” Murray said.

While he said he appreciated the communication, he wonders why it has taken so long to do this and why so close to a holiday when finding help can be difficult.

“Couldn’t you have let us know maybe a month earlier instead of right before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?” Murray said.

Eva Velasquez, the President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, said that those who have received an alert should not panic but should work quickly to protect themselves from further harm.

“It’s really important that the people who received this notice freeze their credit. It’s completely free to the public and it actually doesn’t take that long. There’s a big misconception that freezing your credit is a long, tedious process,” Velasquez said.

Velasquez said by freezing your credit, you can prevent someone with your information from opening a new line of credit under your name, such as B. Taking out a loan.

“I want you to answer. You’ve received information that some of your data or credentials have been compromised, and there are some things you should do to try to minimize your risk,” Velasquez said.

In addition to informing those whose information may have been stolen, the letter sent by AAA Collections lists the resources available should those affected wish to freeze their loans.