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Malicious Cyber Intrusion


dsimpson

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I recently received a letter from the US Office of Personnel Management telling me that I was the target of a malicious cyber intrusion which resulted in the theft of background investigative records. My SSN and other personal information was taken. I am given a Internet URL and phone number to go to and enroll with ID Experts, a company that specializes in identity theft protection. This smells like a scam and I am wondering if anyone else has received a similar letter.

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I recently received a letter from the US Office of Personnel Management telling me that I was the target of a malicious cyber intrusion which resulted in the theft of background investigative records. My SSN and other personal information was taken. I am given a Internet URL and phone number to go to and enroll with ID Experts, a company that specializes in identity theft protection. This smells like a scam and I am wondering if anyone else has received a similar letter.

 

Google OPM data breach - https://www.opm.gov/cybersecurity

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I don't know if your situation in legit but I have heard recently that others have received the same notice. You might be able to go to servicesonline.opm.gov to access your information if you have CSA# and your password to check. I was on this site the other evening checking about my with holding and insurance stuff. I did not look for anything else so I did not notice any statement about this but I have heard or read on national news that a lot of people were compromised. I heard someone asking about it on the Clark Howard radio show and he had some good advice about dealing with it which included doing credit freezes at the credit buearo's. I made a note to check on this in case I get one of the notices. I have not yet.

 

PS: As I recall he did not think much of this free credit monitering they have set up so it is better to deal with it in other ways. He seemed to think that the Credit monitering is as much to make people feel better about what has happened and should be only one step in covering your ass.

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That is a scam. If you were comprised, you would hear from a company you were doing business, such as Name Bank. If you contact these people you prove you are a real email address. I bet they want your ss and other id information so they can "help" you.

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If you had a background investigation or security clearance processed by OPM and if the letter truly came from OPM, it will have a 25 digit pin and is not a scam. You only need that pin and the last four of your SS# to log into the identity monitoring website to register. If your spouse or other partner was listed on your background investigation, their personal information may have also been compromised. They will receive a separate letter and pin. You can read more about it on the OPM Cyber Security Website.

 

The OPM program offers more than just monitoring, This is from the OPM website:

 

"Here are the services the Federal Government is providing to individuals impacted by the background investigation records incident:

  1. Identity monitoring

    Identity monitoring services includes monitoring of the Internet and monitoring database sources including those pertaining to criminal records, arrest records, bookings, court records, pay day loans, bank accounts, checks, sex offender, change of address, and Social Security number trace. Please sign up for MyIDCare to access this benefit.

  2. Credit monitoring

    This includes credit monitoring of credit reports at all three national credit reporting agencies (i.e., Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Please sign up for MyIDCareto access this benefit.

  3. Identity restoration services

    If your identity is compromised, representatives from ID Experts will work with you to take steps to restore your identity. You have access to this benefit at any time during the coverage period without having to enroll in other services.

  4. Identity theft insurance

    Identity theft insurance has been provided to impacted individuals and their dependent minor children regardless of their enrollment status in other services. This insurance became effective on September 1, 2015 and the scope of this coverage includes all claims submitted on or prior to December 31, 2018. This insurance covers you for expenses incurred in restoring identity and is valid for amounts up to $1,000,000 with no deductible."

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I tend to think this real but I would verify by contacting OPM by phone or my logging on to their site using a email address I obtained indepently if I had any doubt. IE: I once had a call saying I had unusual usage on my cell and to contact AT&T using an 800 # they furnished. It wasn't the old 800 but one of the new types like 844 or something. Instead I contacted AT&T using a # I knew was valid and not a scam. They checked while I held then in a short time they came back and said it was real and connected me to the proper AT&T office who really scared the H of me by saying my bill was up above $5000.00 and climbing. This is just a long winded way of saying if in doubt check from another direction. I did something like this in a notice from my Credit card a year or so ago.

 

I did not mean to imply that what they are doing is not good but again would want to check on other aspects of protecting myself as much as possible. It certainly appears TCW has better information on this than me which is great. I just hope I don't get one of he notifications soon. I get frustrated that at the VA almost every page of records I receive has my full SS# on it. Does not make since since they always just ask for you last 4 to access your information or make an appointment.

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Yep, got the letter, it all seems to check out according to everything on the web. I did go in through the website for OPM and followed the links from there to be safe instead of using the supplied address but it was one and the same as the link at OPM. Hated to do it but couldn't afford not to either. Have my fingers crossed.

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After further research, it looks like this is a genuine problem. A simple Google search turns up so many different web pages on this topic including an NBC news and Washington Post article and a Wikipedia entry. They all tell pretty much the same story that was in the letter I received.

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TCW is correct. I am a recipient of the letter. Doug - you must have had a Federal background investigation done on you by OPM. Not sure if the information you provided to OPM was only your biographic, or it included your fingerprints. Your letter will inform you of the information that was stolen - mine did. I followed the instructions and know have three years of free monitoring. I would rather my information was not stolen, and the Federal Government would do more to protect our Information Technology Framework given all the money they spend, but such is life - i guess.

 

BLK-9

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