Norfolk, Va. - Officials at Tidewater Community College now say 100 employees have reported having trouble filing their taxes due to a data breach that exposed the Social Security numbers and financial information of over 3,000 employees.
According to TCC, approximately 15 employees reported to the school that they had attempted to file their 2015 tax returns and were advised by the IRS that a return had already been filed under their Social Security numbers.
Since then, at least 100 employees have come forward reporting the same problem.
The personal data was compromised when a file containing the names of all 2015 TCC employees, their Social Security numbers, 2015 earnings, withholding and deduction information was emailed in response to a request that appeared to be from a legitimate TCC account. The college has now learned that the email request came from a illegitimate account that was not associated with the school.
The names included current and former full-time, part-time wage, and adjunct employees – anyone who received taxable wages from TCC for 2015.
The school is openly addressing concerns with employees during a series of town hall meetings at each campus.
Additionally, the school recommends employees take the steps below immediately to protect their information.
- First, contact one of the three major credit-reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian -- to place a fraud alert on your credit file. The one you place a fraud alert with will contact the other two. Renew the fraud alert every 90 days.
- Experian: https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
- TransAmerica: https://fraud.transunion.com/fa/fraudAlert/landingPage.jsp
- Equifax: https://www.alerts.equifax.com/AutoFraud_Online/jsp/fraudAlert.jsp
You can request a copy of your current credit report when you set up the fraud alert.
- Complete and submit IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit. It alerts the IRS that you have reason to believe your personal information may be used fraudulently. Click here for the form and further information. Alternatively, you may call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040.
If you believe your personal information has already been used fraudulently:
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.idtheft.gov. You can also call 1-877-IDTHEFT.
- File an identity theft report with your local police. The police report is necessary if you want to apply for a new Social Security number.
- Report the theft of your Social Security number to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov/. The report will be distributed to the relevant federal, state and local authorities.
The Federal Trade Commission offers a resource on what to do in case of identity theft online here.