BINGHAMTON, N.Y., Oct. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Coughlin & Gerhart ("C&G"), is providing notice of a recent data privacy event that may have affected certain personal information. The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information is one of C&G's highest priorities and C&G takes this matter seriously.
What Happened? On April 5, 2021, C&G discovered suspicious activity related to certain computer systems. C&G immediately launched an investigation, with the assistance of third-party forensic specialists, to determine the nature and scope of the activity. Our investigation determined that there was unauthorized access to the affected systems from April 2, 2021 to April 3, 2021. C&G began reviewing the contents of the affected systems to determine what, if any, sensitive information was contained within them. On August 24, 2021, C&G's review determined that the systems contained sensitive information related to certain individuals. Since that time, C&G has been diligently reviewing its records for purposes of notifying those affected individuals. C&G began notifying individuals whose information was impacted on October 5, 2021.
What Information Was Involved? C&G determined that the information impacted by this event varied by individual but may include certain individuals' names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, passport numbers, financial account information, medical information, and health insurance information.
What We Are Doing. C&G is individually notifying those whose information was present in the affected systems.
What You Can Do. C&G encourages individuals to review the information below related to "Steps Individuals Can Take to Help Protect Against Identity Theft and Fraud," which provides detail on how to better protect against possible misuse of information. Affected individuals can find guidance in the letters being sent to them.
For More Information. Individuals who may have questions about the incident, may contact our dedicated call center at 833-541-1594 or visit https://www.cglawoffices.com/.
STEPS INDIVIDUALS CAN TAKE TO HELP PROTECT AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD
C&G encourages individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review account statements, and to monitor credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect error. Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of your credit report.
Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer's credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.
As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a "credit freeze" on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer's express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report. To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- Addresses for the prior two to five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver's license or ID card, etc.); and
- A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.
Should you wish to place a credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:
Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094
You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
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SOURCE Coughlin & Gerhart, LLP