California town announces extensive data breach involving police department, loan provider

Grass Valley, California has announced an extensive data breach involving the Social Security numbers, bank account information and more of all city employees and vendors as well as anyone who had their information given to the local police department. 

The city is located near Sacramento and has a population of around 13,000 people. The city said in a notice that Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and health insurance information was leaked for all Grass Valley employees, former employees, spouses, dependents and vendors. 

Anyone whose information was provided to the Grass Valley Police Department had their names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial account information, payment card information, health insurance information, passport numbers and more lost in the breach.

The same goes for anyone who filled out a loan application at the Grass Valley Community Development Department. 

The city government said the breach began on April 13 and files were transferred out of the city’s network until July 1. By December, the city said it had a better understanding of the scope of information lost in the breach and began sending breach notification letters to victims on January 7. 

Only those who had their Social Security number or driver’s license number leaked are being given access to one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. 

The city later released an update to the notice, telling victims that they are unable to verify whether a person’s information was lost in the massive breach.  

“We have learned that some individuals are calling the phone number provided to inquire ‘has my identity been affected?’ The call center is unable to ‘look up names’ specifically. Rather, we ask that if you fall into one of these categories that you specify to the call center the category in which you fall, and ask to have them provide you with a use-code to enroll in Experian’s IdentityWorksSM credit monitoring service,” the city explained. 

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