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Error exposes town residents' tax info online
[April 03, 2009]

Error exposes town residents' tax info online

Apr 03, 2009 (Culpeper Star-Exponent - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Personal information for 7,845 town taxpayers was exposed on the Internet last weekend due to a vendor's mistake, town officials said late Thursday.

In a statement, town manager Jeff Muzzy said the problem was discovered March 27 and the information was removed by March 30.

"It is regrettable situation," Muzzy said. "The town is doing everything in its power to notify the taxpayers and ensure that personal information is protected by vendors contracted by the town." According to Muzzy, the unidentified vendor had the records to reformat the town's personal property tax file for billing purposes.

In a letter dated today that's due to be mailed to town taxpayers and posted on the town's Web site, Muzzy wrote that the files containing the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of residents were on a password-protected site that was compromised.

"We are not sure at this point how this breach occurred, and the investigation is continuing," Muzzy wrote in the letter.

Town officials say they are not aware of any of the information being used fraudulently.

"We wanted to notify the taxpayers about the breach as soon as possible and provide information on methods to monitor credit records," Muzzy said.

For protection from possible fraud, the town suggests all taxpayers obtain a copy of their credit report and review it regularly for incorrect information or unauthorized activity.

What to do Following a security breach that exposed the names, addresses and Social Security numbers of more than 7,845 town taxpayers, town officials suggest residents obtain credit reports and review them for accuracy and unauthorized activity.

Several options are available to order a free credit report. They are: Online: Phone: (877) 322-8228 Mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 To see more of the Culpeper Star-Exponent or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, Culpeper Star-Exponent, Va.

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