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DHHS Alerts Clients of Missing Records

For release: Immediate    Jan. 26, 2011
Contact: Lori Walston, 919/733-9190

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is alerting some clients that a set of computer disks belonging to the Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) may have been accidentally discarded and likely taken to a landfill during a recent office renovation. The disks contained personal information of clients who had applied for services from the Equipment Distribution Service within DSDHH from January 2005 through December 2008.

Although the information contained on the disks is accessible only using special software, DSDHH is sending letters to each of the individuals whose personal information may have been compromised, as a precautionary measure. The letter explains the incident, provides guidance on how to protect themselves from identity theft or scams and advises clients to check their credit reports regularly.

DHHS also contacted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and notified the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General’s Office.

DSDHH has added a link to consumer protection information on the division’s website at www.ncdhhs.gov/dsdhh. DSDHH has also prepared staff, including those in the division’s Regional Centers, to answer questions from concerned citizens who may have been affected.

“Our staff is revisiting our policies and procedures to ensure protection of all records,” said Jan Withers, DSDHH director. “Since 2008 all of our documents were encrypted to ensure their security, and all information will be stored in electronic secure files effective Sept. 30, 2011.”

Clients with questions or concerns should contact the DHHS CARE-LINE, Information and Referral Service at 1-800-662-7030 (English/Espanol) or TTY for the hearing impaired at 1-877-452-2514. The CARE-LINE is open 8 a.m.–5 p.m. five days a week. In the Triangle area, call 919-855-4400 or 919-733-4851 (TTY for the hearing impaired). Questions or concerns can also be emailed to care.line@dhhs.nc.gov.

 

 

 

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