The Center for Human Development (CHD) is informing individuals of a recent data security incident that may have resulted in unauthorized access to the sensitive personal information of some of our former and current employees and of individuals served. On November 15, 2021, CHD notified, via first-class mail, any individual whose information may have been present during the unauthorized access, to provide details about the incident, steps CHD is taking in response, and resources available to help protect against the potential misuse of personal information. CHD sincerely regrets any inconvenience or concern that this matter may cause, and remains dedicated to ensuring the privacy and security of all information in our control.
On March 24, 2021, CHD detected unusual activity on our network. Immediately upon discovery of this incident, CHD responded vigorously, closing down all outside access and enlisting a specialized third-party cybersecurity firm to limit the effects of the incursion. CHD has also worked exhaustively and in partnership with outside experts over the time to perform a comprehensive forensic analysis of its impact, and to determine, as accurately as possible, what data had been affected and potential implications of it for the owners of that data. The forensic investigation found that while the majority of the most sensitive data stored in CHD’s data systems were not affected by this incident, there were evidence that some CHD files were accessed by an unauthorized actor. As of the date of this notice, there is no indication of any fraudulent use of any data or reports of related identity theft since the date of the incident (March 24, 2021 to present).
CHD is committed to doing everything to protect the privacy and security of all personal information in CHD’s care. In response to this incident CHD has implemented significant additional levels of data security and added new protocols to minimize chances for another such intrusion. Because CHD takes its obligation to support everyone who was affected by this incident very seriously, CHD is also offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services to all impacted individuals. CHD encourages individuals who think their information may have been impacted to call 1-833-767-0119 (toll free) Monday through Friday, during the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern Time (excluding U.S. national holidays) for more information.
Once again, CHD sincerely regrets any concern or inconvenience this matter may cause, and remains dedicated to ensuring the privacy and security of all information in our control. For any media inquiries, please reach out to: Brian Fitzgerald at 413-386-6155 or [email protected].
While CHD has no evidence of the misuse of any potentially affected individuals’ information, CHD is providing the following information to help those who want to know more about steps they can take to protect themselves and their personal information:
What Steps can I take to protect my personal information?
— You should always remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing credit card account statements and by monitoring your credit report for suspicious or unusual activity.
— Please notify your financial institution immediately if you detect any suspicious activity on any of your accounts, including unauthorized transactions or new accounts opened in your name that you do not recognize. You should also promptly report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incidents of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities.
— You can request a copy of your credit report, free of charge, directly from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. To do so, free of charge once every 12 months, please visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call toll free at 1-877-322-8228. Contact information for the three nationwide credit reporting agencies is listed below.
— You have the right to file or obtain a police report if you experience identity fraud. Please note that in order to file a crime report or incident report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide proof that you have been a victim. A police report is often required to dispute fraudulent items. You can generally report suspected incidents of identity theft to local law enforcement or to the Attorney General.
— You can take steps recommended by the Federal Trade Commission to protect yourself from identity theft. The FTC’s website offers helpful information at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
How do I obtain a copy of my credit report?
— You may obtain a copy of your credit report, free of charge, whether or not you suspect any unauthorized activity on your account. You may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies. To order your free credit report, please visit www.annualcreditreport.com, or call toll-free at 1-877-322-8228. You can also order your annual free credit report by mailing a completed Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281.
How do I place a fraud alert on my account?
— You can place fraud alerts with the three credit bureaus by phone or online. A fraud alert tells creditors to follow certain procedures, including contacting you, before they open any new accounts or change your existing accounts. For that reason, placing a fraud alert can protect you, but also may delay you when you seek to obtain credit. As of September 21, 2018, initial fraud alerts last for one year. Victims of identity theft can also get an extended fraud alert for seven years.
– Experian: P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013; 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
– TransUnion: P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016; 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts
– Equifax: P.O. Box 105069, Atlanta, GA 30348; 1-800-525-6285; https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/
How do I place a security freeze on my credit report?
— You have the right to place a security freeze on your credit report. A security freeze is intended to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. To place a security freeze on your credit report, you need to make a request to each consumer reporting agency. You may make that request by certified mail, overnight mail, regular stamped mail, or by following the instructions found at the websites listed below. The following information must be included when requesting a security freeze (note that if you are requesting a credit report for your spouse or a minor under the age of 16, this information must be provided for him/her as well): (1) full name, with middle initial and any suffixes; (2) Social Security number; (3) date of birth; (4) current address and any previous addresses for the past five years; and (5) any applicable incident report or complaint with a law enforcement agency or the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The request must also include a copy of a government-issued identification card and a copy of a recent utility bill or bank or insurance statement. It is essential that each copy be legible, display your name and current mailing address, and the date of issue. As of September 21, 2018, it is free to place, lift, or remove a security freeze. You may also place a security freeze for children under the age of 16. You may obtain a free security freeze by contacting any one or more of the following national consumer reporting agencies:
– Experian: P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013; 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com/freeze/center.html
– TransUnion: P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094; 1-888-909-8872; www.transunion.com/credit-freeze
– Equifax: P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348-5788; 1-888-298-0045; https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/
What should I do if my family member’s information was involved in the incident and is deceased?
— We are sorry for your loss. To help protect your deceased family member, there are steps you can take to request a copy of your deceased family member’s credit report. An executor or surviving spouse can place a request to any of the three credit reporting agencies for a copy of the deceased individual’s credit report. An executor or surviving spouse can also request that the following two notices be placed on a deceased individual’s credit report:
– “Deceased – Do not issue credit”; or
– “If an application is made for credit, please notify the following person(s) (e.g. surviving relative, executor/trustee of the estate and/or local law enforcement agency – notifying the relationship).”
Contact information for the three nationwide credit reporting companies is as follows:
– Experian: PO Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013; 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com
– TransUnion: PO Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834; 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com
– Equifax: PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374; 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com
For more information regarding identity theft and the deceased, please visit http://www.idtheftcenter.org and search for “FS 117 – Identity Theft and the Deceased – Prevention and Victim Tips.” You should also notify the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service of the death of your family member and that you received this letter.