The New York Legal Assistance Group (“NYLAG”) discovered unusual activity in an employee email account. We immediately launched an investigation with the assistance of a third-party computer forensic investigator to determine the full nature and scope of what occurred. Through this investigation, NYLAG determined that an unknown actor gained access to certain NYLAG employee email accounts between November 19, 2019 and February 7, 2020. The email credentials were immediately changed, and the email accounts were secured.
The confidentiality, privacy, and security of information in our care is one of our highest priorities. Upon discovering this incident, we moved quickly to investigate and took steps to further secure our systems. The investigation determined the following type of information was contained in the email accounts: name, Social Security number, driver’s license or other government issued ID number, financial account information, passport number and payment card information.
What you can do: In an abundance of caution, we are notifying potentially impacted individuals and are offering identity protection services at no cost as an added precaution. If you have questions about this incident you can call 1-844-951-2886 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Potentially affected individuals may also consider the information and resources outlined below.
What did NYLAG do once they learned of the incident? Immediately after learning of the incident we undertook an extensive manual and programmatic review of the contents of the email accounts to determine what information was contained in the accounts and to whom the information related. Once completed, we then began conducting a thorough review of our files to obtain address information for potentially impacted individuals. NYLAG is evaluating our current security protocols in order to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future. Although we are unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of any information, we are notifying potentially affected individuals out of an abundance of caution. We will also notify necessary regulatory bodies.
Monitor Your Accounts
NYLAG encourages potentially impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing their accounts, explanations of benefits, and credit reports for suspicious activity, and to report any suspicious activity to the affiliated institutions immediately.
Under U.S. law, individuals with credit reports are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
We encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
You have the right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on your 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 you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
P.O. Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.
The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); 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. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. The New York Attorney General the Attorney General may be contacted at: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; 1-800-771-7755; https://ag.ny.gov/.This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.