September 1, 2022
The privacy and security of personal information is of the utmost importance Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (“Diocese of Cleveland”), which recently learned that an unauthorized party may have obtained access to an employee email account. Upon learning of this issue, we immediately notified law enforcement and engaged third party cybersecurity experts to conduct a forensic investigation and review the impacted email account and the data stored within.
After an extensive forensic investigation and manual document review, we discovered on August 1, 2022 that the impacted email account that was accessed on February 9, 2022 and again February 14, 2022 contained personal information. The information included full names and one or more of the following: Social Security number, financial account information and security code, payment card information, driver’s license number, health insurance information, passport number, and medical information.
To date, we are not aware of any reports of identity fraud or improper use of any information as a direct result of this incident. Out of an abundance of caution, we provided notification of this incident commencing on September 1, 2022 to impacted individuals whose contact information we had on file. Impacted individuals are encouraged to take steps to protect themselves against identity fraud, including placing a fraud alert/security freeze on their credit files, obtaining free credit reports, and remaining vigilant in reviewing financial account statements and credit reports for fraudulent or irregular activity on a regular basis. Individuals who may have had their Social Security number impacted are encouraged to enroll in complimentary credit monitoring services provided in the notification letter.
We are committed to maintaining the privacy of personal information in its possession and has taken many precautions to safeguard it. We continually evaluate and modify our practices and internal controls to enhance the security and privacy of personal information.
If you have any further questions regarding this incident, please call our dedicated and confidential toll-free response line that we have set up to respond to questions at (844) 502-9994. This response line is staffed with professionals familiar with this incident and knowledgeable on what you can do to protect against misuse of your information. The response line is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time.
We recommend that you place an initial one-year “fraud alert” on your credit files, at no charge. A fraud alert tells creditors to contact you personally before they open any new accounts. To place a fraud alert, call anyoneof the three major credit bureaus at the numbers listed below. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, they will notify the others.
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
If you are very concerned about becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft, you may request a “security freeze” be placed on your credit file, at no charge. A security freeze prohibits, with certain specific exceptions, the consumer reporting agencies from releasing your credit report or any information from it without your express authorization. You may place a security freeze on your credit report by contactingall threenationwide credit reporting companies at the numbers below and following the stated directions or by sending a request in writing, by mail, toall threecredit reporting companies:
Equifax Security Freeze
P.O. Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348
Experian Security Freeze
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Security Freeze
P.O. Box 160
Woodlyn, PA 19094
In order to place the security freeze, you’ll need to supply your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and other personal information. After receiving your freeze request, each credit reporting company will send you a confirmation letter containing a unique PIN (personal identification number) or password. Keep the PIN or password in a safe place. You will need it if you choose to lift the freeze.
Under federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from eachof the above three major nationwide credit reporting companies. Call 1-877-322-8228 or request your free credit reports online at www.annualcreditreport.com. Once you receive your credit reports, review them for discrepancies. Identify any accounts you did not open or inquiries from creditors that you did not authorize. Verify all information is correct. If you have questions or notice incorrect information, contact the credit reporting company.
Even if you do not find any suspicious activity on your initial credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you check your credit reports periodically. Checking your credit report periodically can help you spot problems and address them quickly.
If you find suspicious activity on your credit reports or have reason to believe your information is being misused, call your local law enforcement agency and file a police report. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, as many creditors will want the information it contains to absolve you of the fraudulent debts. You may also file a complaint with the FTC by contacting them on the web at www.ftc.gov/idtheft, by phone at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338), or by mail at Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Your complaint will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, where it will be accessible to law enforcement for their investigations. In addition, you may obtain information from the FTC about fraud alerts and security freezes.
If this notice letter states that your financial account information and/or credit or debit card information was impacted, we recommend that you contact your financial institution to inquire about steps to take to protect your account, including whether you should close your account or obtain a new account number.
If your personal information has been used to file a false tax return, to open an account or to attempt to open an account in your name or to commit fraud or other crimes against you, you may file a police report in the city in which you currently reside.
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
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: 202-442-9828
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