The personal information of approximately 770 clients throughout Riverside County, most from the Coachella Valley, is at-risk after a burglar broke into the car of a DPSS supervisor and stole hundreds of files.
According to the county, the robbery happened on July 27, when the supervisor was transporting closed-case files from a sheriff's substation in Palm Desert to be archived in Riverside. A news release by DPSS notes that the supervisor's vehicle was locked during the theft. The Riverside Police Department is investigating the incident.
"We don't know who stole the records or for what reason," said Sarah Mack, director of DPSS. "However, we do know this breach represents a concern to each individual whose records were taken and we are determined to help minimize the privacy risks that may arise from this unfortunate incident."
The news release reveals the stolen files contained reports of elder or dependent adult abuse and included clients' full name, address, date of birth and social security number.
"We apologize to each affected person," Mack said.
Mack said the incident is under formal administrative review. DPSS is also re-educating employees about existing policies and procedures governing the storage and transfer of client records.
"Protecting sensitive client information is a priority for this organization and we want to ensure that best practices are maintained by all employees at all times," Mack said.
In a letter, DPSS urged clients to closely monitor their credit activity and lookout for fraudulent and suspicious activity. DPSS is urging those affected to to enroll for one year of free credit monitoring.
Those whose information has been breached should receive Wednesday's letter by late Thursday or Friday. However, if you believe you might be impacted or want to know if you have, you can call a DPSS representative at (951) 358-3010 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Correspondence may be sent to:
County of Riverside – Department of Public Social Services
Assurance and Review Services
7894 Mission Grove Parkway, Suite 100
Riverside, CA 92508
More: I-Team investigations
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