Department of Child Support Services Loses Private Records During Disaster Preparedness Excercise

The California Department of Child Support Services, which regulates the collection and payment of child support services, has begun distributing letters to its clients advising that storage devices went missing in transit between Colorado and California around March 12. The devises were initially sent to Colorado as part of an exercise in disaster preparedness.

In a two-page letter sent to its clients, the department relayed that the devices not only contained the identities of both the parent and child, but also included images and scanned documents of Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, health care providers, and employer information.

In the letter sent to parents, the interim Director of Child Support Services, Kathleen Hrepich, recommends that as a precautionary measure, customers, at their own expense, should review their credit reports for identity theft and fraudulent activity. There is no offer from the department to cover the expense of credit monitoring, although the department claims it has advised the three major credit reporting agencies.

Coincidentally, in a credit report requested on March 26 for myself (a client of this government department), I found no reference in my credit report to substantiate the claim that Hrepich, or her department, have made any contact with the three credit reporting agencies.

The Department of Child Support Services is one of twelve departments under the umbrella of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

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