ORLANDO, Fla. — The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) said Friday that nearly 58,000 claimants have been impacted by a data breach.
FDEO officials said they learned about the security incident on July 16 and sent letters out of Friday to those affected.
Officials said the hack involved potentially fraudulent activity connected to claimant accounts within the Reemployment Assistance Claims and Benefits Information System, commonly known as CONNECT.
“The Department discovered that malicious actors were targeting claimant accounts via the CONNECT public claimant portal,” officials said. “A total of 57,920 claimant accounts were targeted. These targeted accounts may have been accessed by an unauthorized party.”
Officials said the activity may have occurred between April 27 and July 16 of this year.
“There is no evidence of any other unauthorized access and no indication of related malicious activity on the Department’s internal networks,” officials said.
According to officials, information contained in the claimant account may have been accessed, including, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, claim information, and other personal details such as address, phone number, and date of birth.
In addition, the malicious actors may have acquired the account PIN that claimants use to access their CONNECT account, officials said.
FDEO is recommending that the impacted claimants monitor their financial accounts, and if they see any unauthorized activity, they should promptly contact their financial institution.
Those affected may contact the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338) or online at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
Officials are also recommending claimants contact the three U.S. credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to obtain a free credit report from each by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by logging onto www.annualcreditreport.com.
Officials said in response to the data breach, FDEO has taken measures including locking accounts targeted by this activity, improving PIN security controls, enhancing network security controls and notifying impacted claimants.
“While states continue to battle significant attacks on unemployment systems across the nation, the prevention of fraud remains a top priority for the department,” officials said. “Florida is a leader in identifying and preventing unemployment fraud, and we will continue to take necessary precautions to protect Floridians.”
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