A security breach at the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office has exposed hundreds of Social Security numbers as well as other personal information.
According to officials, 244 people in Palm Beach County received a letter around July 23 informing them that a breach had occurred between July 1 and 5, and that it included names, mailing addresses and Social Security numbers. It also advised them to sign up for credit monitoring and to monitor their financial accounts.
Alan Crowetz, a security expert at Infostream, says, “These 244 people or so should be very cautious. There’s a lot of valuable information here. The holy grail is the Social Security number. If you have that, combined with the property address and some other personal information, that’s some pretty juicy stuff. You can open credit cards, apply for credit, you can certainly steal someone’s identity with that information, that really is the keys to both financial theft and identity theft.”
The Tax Collector’s Office explains that the breach happened when a data file was “erroneously attached during a computer backup process.”
Tax Collector Anne Gannon says the file has since been deleted.
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