Notice of Data Privacy Incident
About the data privacy Incident
Community Access Unlimited (“CAU”) learned of an incident that may affect the privacy of certain information. CAU is providing notice of the event so potentially affected individuals may take steps to better protect their information, should they feel it appropriate to do so.
Frequently asked questions
What Happened? On November 10, 2020, CAU discovered unusual activity involving certain internal CAU systems. CAU immediately disconnected the systems from the network and commenced an investigation that included working with third-party forensic specialists. On November 20, 2020, the investigation determined that the involved systems were subject to unauthorized access by someone not connected with CAU sometime between June 29, 2020 and November 12, 2020. Because we could not conclusively rule out access to data within these systems, CAU conducted a review of the potentially impacted data to determine the type of information and to whom it related, which concluded on March 9, 2021.
What Information Was Involved? The involved CAU systems contained the following types of information at the time of the incident: names, dates of birth, driver’s license or state identification card number, non-resident identification number, health information, health insurance beneficiary numbers, and usernames and passwords. CAU’s Self-Direct Services Fiscal Management System “SDS” was not affected by this incident.
What is CAU Doing. Upon learning of this incident, CAU moved quickly to investigate this event and confirm whether and what information may be affected. CAU is reviewing and enhancing its existing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event. CAU notified a number of business partners and will be notifying individuals and relevant state and federal regulators, as required. As an added precaution, CAU is offering complimentary access to credit monitoring and identity restoration services to potentially impacted individuals.
What You Can Do. CAU encourages individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud by reviewing their account statements and explanation of benefits and monitoring their free credit reports for suspicious activity. Individuals may also review and consider the information and resources outlined in the below “Steps Individuals Can Take to Protect Their Personal Information.”
For More Information? If individuals have additional questions, please call our dedicated assistance line at 855-435-0527 (toll free), Monday through Friday, from 9:00am – 9:00pm Eastern Time (excluding U.S. holidays). Individuals may write to CAU at 80 W Grand St. Elizabeth, NJ 07202 or email Privacy@caunj.org with any additional questions.
Steps Individuals Can Take to Protect Their Personal Information
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, individuals may visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Individuals 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 their 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 an individual is a victim of identity theft, the individual is entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should an individual wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one 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 individuals’ names without their consent. However, individuals 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 individuals make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, individuals cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on their credit report. To request a security freeze, individuals will need to provide the following information:
- Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- Addresses for the prior two to 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, etc.); and
- A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if an individual is a victim of identity theft.
Should an individual wish to place a fraud alert or credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:
Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069
Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
If any individuals had a username and password involved in this incident, we recommend those individuals change the password and any security question or answer for those account(s) immediately. If individuals reuse usernames and passwords for other online accounts, it is recommended those individuals change the password and any security question or answer for those online accounts, as well. Further, as a general precaution, individuals should never use the same password for more than one online account. When creating passwords, they should be complex and not contain personal information.
Individuals may further educate themselves regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps they can take to protect their 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, DC 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. Individuals can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. Individuals 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, individuals 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 state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
For Maryland residents, the Maryland Attorney General may be contacted at: 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-410-528-8662 or 1-888-743-0023; and www.oag.state.md.us. CAU is located at 80 W Grand St. Elizabeth, NJ 07202.
For Rhode Island residents, the Rhode Island Attorney General may be reached at: 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903; www.riag.ri.gov; and 1-401-274-4400. Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident. There are four (4) Rhode Island residents impacted by this incident.
For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer reporting bureaus must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from violator. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf, or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.