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Data Security Breach Notification

NOTICE OF A DATA BREACH

 

On February 23, 2022, The PenFacs Group discovered an outgoing spam email campaign that appeared to be from one of our employee email accounts. When we discovered the suspicious activity, we promptly took steps to secure our systems and investigate.

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, we determined that an unauthorized individual or individuals gained access to one of our email accounts, likely via a phishing email on or around November 15, 2021, and as a result, potentially obtained personal information. With the results of the investigation, we began a comprehensive review of the affected email account and determined that the impacted data contained some personal information. The protected personal information potentially involved included driver’s license numbers, passport numbers, state identification card numbers, usernames and passwords, Social Security Numbers, financial account information (i.e., financial account numbers and routing numbers), medical information (i.e., medical history, condition, treatment, or diagnosis, and prescription information), and health insurance information. However, as of now, we have no evidence indicating that any information has been used for identity theft or financial fraud as a result of the incident.

 

Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, beginning on September 26, 2022 through November 3, 2022, The PenFacs Group provided direct notice and complimentary identity monitoring and protection services to the individuals who we were able to identify had personal information involved in the incident to the extent we had contact information for those individuals. Despite a concerted effort to search for the contact information of all potentially affected individuals, there were seventeen (17) individuals who we identified with personal information involved, but we were not able to contact directly about the incident. If you believe that your information was involved, please call the dedicated toll-free helpline set up specifically for this purpose at 1-800-405-6108 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except holidays). In addition, individuals seeking to contact The PenFacs Group directly may write to 337 Turnpike Road Suite #203, Southborough, MA 01772.

 

The PenFacs Group recommends that any individuals who we confirm had personal information involved in the incident remain vigilant by closely reviewing their account statements and credit reports as a precautionary measure. In addition, we strongly advise that the account holder promptly notify the financial institution or company that maintains the account if any suspicious activity is detected. Further, any such individuals should promptly report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incidence of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities, including their state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To file a complaint or to contact the FTC, you can (1) send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; (2) go to IdentityTheft.gov/databreach; or (3) call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). Complaints filed with the FTC will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, a database made available to law enforcement agencies. For more guidance regarding protecting against identity theft, please review “OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION” below.

 

At The PenFacs Group, the security and privacy of the information contained within our systems is a top priority for us and we continue to review and further enhance these protections as part of our ongoing commitment to data security.

 

 

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Obtain and Monitor Your Credit Report. We recommend that you obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies once every 12 months by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com, calling toll-free 877-322-8228, or by completing an Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348.  You can access the request form at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action.  Alternatively, you can elect to purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting one of the three national credit reporting agencies. The three nationwide credit reporting agencies’ contact information are provided below to request a copy of your credit report or general identified above inquiries.

 

Equifax

P.O. Box 105069

Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/

(800) 525-6285

Experian

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html

(888) 397-3742

TransUnion

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

https://www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts

(800) 680-7289

 

 

Security Freeze (also known as a Credit Freeze). Following is general information about how to request a security freeze from the three credit reporting agencies at no cost. While we believe this information is accurate, you should contact each agency for the most accurate and up-to-date information. A security freeze prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from a consumer’s credit report without written authorization.  However, please be aware that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit, mortgages, employment, housing, or other services. There might be additional information required, and as such, to find out more information, please contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies (contact information provided below).

Equifax Security FreezeP.O. Box 105788

Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/  

(888)-298-0045

Experian Security Freeze

P.O. Box 9554

Allen, TX 75013

http://experian.com/freeze

(888) 397-3742

TransUnion Security Freeze

P.O. Box 160

Woodlyn, PA 19094

https://www.transunion.com/credit-freeze

(888) 909-8872

 

Consider Placing a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report. You may want to consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. An initial fraud alert is free and will stay on your credit file for at least twelve months. The alert informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report and requests that the creditor contact you before establishing any accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, contact any of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies identified above. Additional information is available at https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/

Remain Vigilant, Review Your Account Statements and Notify Law Enforcement of Suspicious Activity. As a precautionary measure, we recommend that you remain vigilant by closely reviewing your account statements and credit reports. If you detect any suspicious activity on an account, we strongly advise that you promptly notify the financial institution or company that maintains the account. Further, you should promptly report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incidence of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities, including your state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To file a complaint or to contact the FTC, you can (1) send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; (2) go to IdentityTheft.gov/databreach; or (3) call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). Complaints filed with the FTC will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, a database made available to law enforcement agencies.

 

Take Advantage of Additional Free Resources on Identity Theft. We recommend that you review the tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website, a valuable resource with some helpful tips on how to protect your information. Additional information is available at https://consumer.ftc.gov/identity-theft-and-online-security/online-privacy-and-security. For more information, please visit IdentityTheft.gov or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). In addition, a copy of Identity Theft – A Recovery Plan, a comprehensive guide from the FTC to help you guard against and deal with identity theft, can be found on the FTC’s website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/.

New Hampshire Residents: You have the right to ask that the three nationwide credit reporting agencies place fraud alerts in their file (as described above) and or request a security freeze (as described above). To place or fraud alert on your file or request the security freeze, please contact three credit reporting agencies identified above.

 

Washington D.C. Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, 400 6th Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001, https://oag.dc.gov/consumer-protection, Telephone: 1-202-442-9828.

 

New York Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the New York Attorney General’s Office: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds-bureau/identity-theft; Telephone: 800-771-7755.

 

Iowa Residents: You may contact law enforcement or the Iowa Attorney General’s Office to report suspected incidents of identity Theft:  Office of the Attorney General of Iowa, Consumer Protection Division, Hoover State Office Building, 1305 East Walnut Street, Des Moines, IA 50319, www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov, Telephone: (515) 281-5164

Maryland Residents: You may obtain information about avoiding identity theft from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office: Office of the Attorney General of Maryland, Consumer Protection Division, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202, www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer, Telephone: 1-888-743-0023.

North Carolina Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office: Office of the Attorney General of North Carolina, Consumer Protection Division, 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, www.ncdoj.gov/, Telephone: 877-566-7226.

Oregon Residents: You may obtain information about preventing identity theft from the Oregon Attorney General’s Office: Oregon Department of Justice, 1162 Court Street NE, Salem, OR 97301-4096, www.doj.state.or.us/, Telephone: 877-877-9392

New Mexico Residents: You have rights under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These include, among others, the right to know what is in your file; to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information; and to have consumer reporting agencies correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information. For more information about the FCRA, please visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0096-fair-credit-reporting-act.pdf or www.ftc.gov.

In addition, New Mexico Consumers Have the Right to Obtain a Security Freeze or Submit a Declaration of Removal

As noted above, you may obtain a security freeze on your credit report to protect your privacy and ensure that credit is not granted in your name without your knowledge. You may submit a declaration of removal to remove information placed in your credit report as a result of being a victim of identity theft. You have a right to place a security freeze on your credit report or submit a declaration of removal pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting and Identity Security Act.

The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided with a personal identification number, password, or similar device to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your credit report or to temporarily authorize the release of your credit report to a specific party or parties or for a specific period of time after the freeze is in place. To remove the freeze or to provide authorization for the temporary release of your credit report, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:

 

  1. The unique personal identification number, password, or similar device provided by the consumer reporting agency;
  2. Proper identification to verify your identity; and
  3. Information regarding the third party or parties who are to receive the credit report or the period of time for which the credit report may be released to users of the credit report.

 

A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to lift temporarily a freeze on a credit report shall comply with the request no later than three business days after receiving the request. As of September 1, 2008, a consumer reporting agency shall comply with the request within fifteen minutes of receiving the request by a secure electronic method or by telephone.

A security freeze does not apply in all circumstances, such as where you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your credit report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities; for use in setting or adjusting an insurance rate or claim or insurance underwriting; for certain governmental purposes; and for purposes of prescreening as defined in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

If you are actively seeking a new credit, loan, utility, telephone, or insurance account, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around or specifically for a certain creditor, with enough advance notice before you apply for new credit for the lifting to take effect. You should contact a consumer reporting agency and request it to lift the freeze at least three business days before applying. As of September 1, 2008, if you contact a consumer reporting agency by a secure electronic method or by telephone, the consumer reporting agency should lift the freeze within fifteen minutes. You have a right to bring a civil action against a consumer reporting agency that violates your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting and Identity Security Act.

To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a request to each of the three major consumer reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You may contact these agencies using the contact information provided above.

Rhode Island Residents:  You may contact law enforcement, such as the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, to report incidents of identity theft or to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft. You can contact the Rhode Island Attorney General at: Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General, 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903, www.riag.ri.gov, (401) 274-4400.

As noted above, you may obtain a security freeze on your credit report to protect your privacy and ensure that credit is not granted in your name without your knowledge. You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report pursuant to chapter 48 of title 6 of the Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2006.

The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, within five (5) business days you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your credit report or to temporarily authorize the release of your credit report for a specific period of time after the freeze is in place. To provide that authorization, you must contact the consumer reporting agency and provide all of the following:

 

  1. The unique personal identification number or password provided by the consumer reporting agency.
  2. Proper identification to verify your identity.
  3. The proper information regarding the period of time for which the report shall be available to users of the credit report.

A consumer reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a freeze on a credit report shall comply with the request no later than three (3) business days after receiving the request.

A security freeze does not apply to circumstances where you have an existing account relationship and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of an account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities.

If you are actively seeking a new credit, loan, utility, telephone, or insurance account, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your own applications for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze — either completely, if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor — with enough advance notice before you apply for new credit for the lifting to take effect.

You have a right to bring a civil action against someone who violates your rights under the credit reporting laws. The action can be brought against a consumer reporting agency or a user of your credit report.

To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a request to each of the three major consumer reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies can be contacted using the contact information provided above.

In order to request a security freeze, you may need to provide the following information:

 

  1. Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
  2. Social Security number;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. Complete address;
  5. Prior addresses;
  6. Proof(s) of identification (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, birth certificate, etc.);
  7. If you are a victim of identity theft, a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.