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Scammers use government warning to steal IDs

Posted: 6:44 PM, Dec 29, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-30 00:11:22-05
The government recently mailed out thousands of letters to people warning them their personal information was stolen in a data breach at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
 
But now con artists are using the letter to try to steal your identity.
 
The federal government's Office of Personnel Management sent out notice to an undisclosed number of Floridians and others across the country. The agency told recipients, "OPM has engaged in a rigorous process to notify impacted individuals through a method that prioritized the security of their information."
 
Despite their best efforts, some of you have emailed us with questions over the letter's legitimacy. Con artists have crafted emails claiming to be from the federal government but these ask for information, something OPM says in the letter they will not do.
 
If you have any doubt about the letter it is simple enough to verify. Just go to opm.gov/cybersecurity. There you will find a verification center that will serve as a resource all of those who may have been affected by the OPM breach. Like other entities who've suffered cyber attacks the government is offering credit monitoring and ID theft insurance for the next three years.
 
In general whether you are the victim of a data breach or not it is important to monitor your financial statements, request a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com and you can consider freezing your credit so no one can get access to it.
 
You can review all of these resources at the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.