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PGCPS Provides Notice of Data Event
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Upper Marlboro, Maryland, February 16, 2024 - Prince George's County Public Schools ("PGCPS") is notifying its community of an event that may impact the privacy of certain information.

What Happened? As you may be aware, on August 14, 2023, PGCPS discovered a data security incident that impacted its computer systems and caused a temporary disruption to certain operations. PGCPS immediately responded and launched an investigation with outside forensic specialists to review the nature and scope of the incident and restore impacted computer systems to operability. The investigation discovered that in addition to usernames and passwords previously identified as impacted, that an unauthorized actor accessed its systems and likely viewed or acquired certain data between August 3, 2023 and August 14, 2023. PGCPS then performed a comprehensive review of the impacted data to determine whether it contained sensitive information and to whom it relates. PGCPS recently concluded on or around January 16, 2024, that personal information related to certain individuals was included in the impacted data set. After determining the scope of information in the impacted files, PGCPS undertook efforts to locate address information for the affected individuals, put resources in place to assist, and provide notice.

What Information Was Involved? The information present in the files that may have been viewed or acquired as a result of this incident varies per person, and included individuals' name, medical information, health insurance information, Social Security number, driver's license number, financial account number, and passport number.

What We Are Doing. PGCPS treats its responsibility to safeguard the information entrusted to it as an utmost priority. As such, PGCPS responded immediately to this incident and has been working diligently to provide you with an accurate and complete notice of the incident. PGCPS has also implemented additional processes and procedures to help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. As an added precaution, PGCPS is providing impacted individuals with the opportunity to enroll in complimentary credit monitoring and identity restoration services through Experian.

How Will Individuals Know If They Are Affected By This Incident? PGCPS is mailing a notice letter to individuals whose information was determined to be in the affected files, for whom they have a valid mailing address. If an individual does not receive a letter but would like to know if they are affected, they may call PGCPS' dedicated assistance line, detailed below.

What You Can Do. PGCPS encourages you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing your account statements regularly and monitoring your free credit reports for suspicious activity and to detect errors.

Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Consumers may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of their credit report.

Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended "fraud alert" on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer's credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer's credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer's identity before extending new credit. If consumers are the victim of identity theft, they are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should consumers wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.

As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a "credit freeze" on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer's express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in a consumer's name without consent. However, consumers should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in their credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application they make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, consumers cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on their credit report. To request a credit freeze, individuals may need to provide some or all of the following information:

    1. Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
    2. Social Security number;
    3. Date of birth;
    4. Addresses for the prior two to five years;
    5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone
       bill;
    6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state
       driver's license or ID card, etc.); and
    7. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to
       a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if they are a victim
       of identity theft.

Should consumers wish to place a credit freeze or fraud alert, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:


             
            
              Equifax                                     Experian                          TransUnion


     
        
          https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-                    https://                           https://
                                                                      www.experian.com/help/           www.transunion.com/credit-

                   report-services/                                                                     help


               
            1-888-298-0045                      
            1-888-397-3742            
            1-800-916-8800


        
        Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069             Experian Fraud Alert, P.O.        TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O.
                                                                           Box                                Box
                Atlanta, GA 30348-5069                       9554, Allen, TX 75013             2000, Chester, PA 19016


       
        Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788              Experian Credit Freeze,           TransUnion Credit Freeze,
                                                                          P.O.                               P.O.
                Atlanta, GA 30348-5788                    Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013          Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094

Additional Information

Consumers may further educate themselves regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps they can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or their state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. Consumers can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. Consumers have the right to file a police report if they ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, consumers will likely need to provide some proof that they have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and the relevant state Attorney General.

For District of Columbia residents, the District of Columbia Attorney General may be contacted at: 400 6th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; 202-727-3400; and oag.dc.gov.

For Maryland residents, the Maryland Attorney General may be contacted at: 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-410-576-6300 or 1-888-743-0023; and https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/. You may write to PGCPS at 1401 School Lane, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772.

For More Information. If individuals have questions about this incident or want additional information, they may call the PGCPS dedicated assistance line at 833-918-1251, Monday through Friday from 9AM to 11PM ET, excluding U.S. holidays.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media@pgcps.org

/PRNewswire -- Feb. 16, 2024/

SOURCE Prince George's County Public Schools



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