Posted on Friday, 5th June 2015 by

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The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently announced that a cyber security incident affecting its systems and data may have compromised the personal information of over 4 million current and former Federal employees.

OPM partnered with the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), and the FBI to determine the impact to Federal personnel. OPM immediately implemented additional security measures to protect the large amount of sensitive information it manages.

OPM states that “beginning June 8 and continuing through June 19, OPM will be sending notifications to approximately 4 million individuals whose Personally Identifiable Information was potentially compromised in this incident. The email will come from opmcio@csid.com and it will contain information regarding credit monitoring and identity theft protection services being provided to those Federal employees impacted by the data breach. In the event OPM does not have an email address for the individual on file, a standard letter will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service.”

OPM is offering affected individuals credit monitoring services and identity theft insurance with CSID, a company that specializes in identity theft protection and fraud resolution. The coverage includes a 18-month membership including credit monitoring, credit report access, identity theft insurance, and recovery services. This service is available immediately at no cost to affected individuals identified by OPM.

Additional information will be released starting at 8 a.m. CST on June 8, 2015 on www.csid.com/opm, and by calling toll-free 844-222-2743 (International callers may call collect at 512-327-0700).

OPM suggests taking the following steps to monitor your identity and financial information:

  • Monitor financial account statements and immediately report any suspicious or unusual activity to financial institutions.
  • Request a free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. Consumers are entitled by law to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – for a total of three reports every year. Contact information for the credit bureaus can be found on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website, www.ftc.gov. (NOTE: You will be asked to provide your Social Security Number in order to receive a free report.)
  • Review resources provided on the FTC identity theft website, www.identitytheft.gov. The FTC maintains a variety of consumer publications providing comprehensive information on computer intrusions and identity theft.
  • You may place a fraud alert on your credit file to let creditors know to contact you before opening a new account in your name. Simply call TransUnion® at 1-800-680-7289 to place this alert. TransUnion® will then notify the other two credit bureaus on your behalf.

Take precautions to avoid becoming a victim and learn how to protect your personal information. OPM will be providing more information soon and those potentially impacted will be notified by mail.

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The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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