What Credit Monitoring Will VA Offer?
NEW: How Will VA Provide Credit Monitoring?
As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continuing efforts to protect and assist those potentially affected by the recent data theft that occurred at an employee's Maryland home, VA announced on June 21 that the agency will provide one year of free credit monitoring to individuals whose sensitive personal information - Social Security Number (SSN) - may have been stolen in the incident.
VA also announced on June 21 the Department is soliciting bids to hire a company that provides data breach analysis, which will look for possible misuse of the stolen VA data. The analysis would help measure the risk of the data loss, identify suspicious misuse of identity information and expedite full assistance to affected individuals.
VA has no reason to believe the perpetrators who committed this burglary were targeting the data, and Federal investigators believe that it is unlikely that identity theft has resulted from the data theft.
NEW: How does an individual sign up for credit monitoring?
VA will solicit bids from qualified companies beginning the week of June 21. Once this process has been completed, VA will be sending follow-up letters to those whose sensitive personal information - Social Security Number (SSN) - may have been included in the data theft. The follow-up letters will contain specific instructions on how individuals can "opt-in" for free credit monitoring, as well as other information.
NEW: How long before VA will begin credit monitoring?
Once the solicitation for bids process is completed, VA will hire and begin working with the selected organization to organize the "opt-in" process and arrange for letters to be sent to those eligible for credit monitoring. VA will ask industry to provide expedited proposals, and to be prepared to implement them rapidly once they are under contract. VA anticipates having free credit monitoring available to those eligible by mid-August.
NEW: What information will the follow-up letter provide?
The follow-up letter will explain credit monitoring and how eligible individuals can enroll. The letter will also offer details on data breach analysis and the company VA contracts with to provide such services.
NEW: Who will receive this follow-up letter?
VA will be sending follow-up letters to individuals whose sensitive personal information - Social Security Number (SSN) - may have been included in the data theft.
NEW: Are spouses who may have been affected eligible for credit monitoring?
Individuals whose sensitive personal information - Social Security Number (SSN) - may have been included in the data theft will be eligible for free credit monitoring.
NEW: Are only individuals who previously received letters from VA eligible for credit monitoring, or is it being made available to all veterans and active duty service members?
VA is committed to providing free credit monitoring, on an "opt-in" basis, to those whose sensitive personal information - Social Security Number (SSN) - may have been included in the stolen data.
NEW: AWhat will VA do if there is evidence that fraud has been committed against individuals as a result of the data breach?
Insurance providing monetary theft protection and other safeguards is included in standard credit monitoring services.
NEW: How will VA be able to determine whether or not an individual case of fraud is related to the VA data theft?
The VA will solicit bids from companies that provide data breach analysis that look for patterns in identity fraud. Such companies aim to determine whether instances of identity fraud are related to a specific data breach.