BOSTON (CBS) – The names, addresses and social security numbers of hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents have been exposed to thieves.
As many as 210,000 unemployed Massachusetts residents who had dealings with a state unemployment office or one-stop career center are at risk.
Hackers may have gained access to their names, addresses and social security numbers.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Don Huff reports
The security breach was caused by a computer virus that struck the Massachusetts Office of Labor of Workforce Development.
It is not just citizens that were exposed. The state is also warning that 1,200 Massachusetts employers may have had their bank account information hijacked by the hackers.
Letters are being sent to everybody who may be affected. If you are concerned that your credit information may be at risk, you can call a special hotline setup by the State’s labor office: 1-877-232-6200.
That line will be staffed 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through Friday, May 20. On Saturday, May 21 you can call between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. From Monday, May 23 through Friday, May 26, the hotline will again be staffed from 7 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 27 until 5 p.m.
It is also important if you may be affected, to take some immediate steps to protect your credit.
Lisa Van Der Pool explains how to protect your credit
“One of the first things you should do is put a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report,” advised Lisa Van Der Pool of the Boston Business Journal.
To do that, contact the national consumer reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion or Equifax and tell them you want a freeze on your credit report. You can do this by following the preceding links to their websites, or by calling the phone numbers below.
Van Der Pool advises that you also get a copy of your credit report and check it closely for mysterious accounts or debts.