Data breach compromises local Social Security numbers

A letter sent out by AAA Collections is informing many that their name and Social Security numbers could be compromised.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:22 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Learning to live with data breaches and loss of personal information is something many have had to do. But it’s still a frustrating and concerning experience when it does happen. Now many in the Sioux Falls area are the next to receive notices that their information could be stolen.

A letter sent out by AAA Collections is informing many that their name and Social Security numbers could be compromised. The data breach stems from a period of three days in early September when the company’s computer system was compromised. By the time it was found and stopped, documents containing names and Social Security Numbers were copied. South Dakota law requires any large breach to be reported to the Attorney General’s office, as well as notices sent out to anyone that might have been affected.

“Within South Dakota’s laws, it states that if there are over 250 individuals that are affected by a data breach, that the company is responsible to send out a notification to those affected parties.” Director for the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection Jody Gillaspie said.

One of those that received the letter is J.R. Murray. Murray only just got the letter Monday, but he’s already heard from others that have got one as well.

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

While he said he appreciates the notice, he’s wondering why it took so long to do so and why right before a holiday when it may be hard to find help.

“Couldn’t you guys 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 those that got a notice shouldn’t panic, but instead should quickly work to protect themselves from any further harm.

“It’s really important that the folks that received this notice go ahead and 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 this long, arduous process.” Velasquez said.

Velasquez said by freezing your credit, you can prevent any person with your information from opening a new line of credit under your name, like taking out a loan.

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

Along with informing those that may have had their information stolen, the letter sent by AAA Collections lists the resources available should those affected want to freeze their credit.