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OFFICE OF JOE G. TEDDER, CFC

Tax Collector for Polk County, Florida

Notice Of Security Incident

ID Experts has been contracted by the Tax Collector’s Office to provide services for this event.

Mailed Notice: Individuals receiving a notice by mail, C/O ID Experts, are encouraged to review the letter and take the recommended steps provided therein. Note: Those seeking additional information regarding the mailed notice should contact the telephone number or visit the website provided in the letter.
Public Notice: All others should read the following public notice and are encouraged to take the recommended steps provided below. Note: Those seeking additional information regarding the public notice may reach the dedicated assistance line toll-free at 1-(833) 573-0850, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. They may also send mail to: Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County, c/o Notice of Security Incident, P.O. Box 1189, Bartow, Florida 33831-1189.

Polk County - July 15, 2020 - The Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County (TCPC) takes seriously the privacy and security of its citizens and therefore wanted to get information out timely regarding a data privacy incident involving driver license numbers. Although we are not aware of any misuse of individual information, it is important to us that we provide timely information regarding these matters and resources.

On June 23, 2020, TCPC was subject to a new strain of a targeted computer virus attack not seen before. In response to this situation, the TCPC’s IT staff quickly recognized a problem and took immediate action to mitigate the threat, which included shutting down computer systems and isolating the threat. TCPC conducted an extensive investigation, with the assistance of third-party computer forensic specialists, to determine the scope of the incident. This forensic investigation was completed on July 11, 2020, and concluded driver license numbers were potentially accessible to an unknown third party, however, there is no evidence that personal information was subject to actual or attempted misuse.

Privacy of data is a top priority for TCPC. The Tax Collector’s Office is currently able to report that we did not lose access to our systems, backups, or other operational data. However, in an abundance of caution to address this new strain of computer virus, TCPC has implemented additional safeguards to further secure system information.

Although the investigation found no evidence that any information was misused, individuals are encouraged to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft by reviewing account statements for unusual activity or errors.

Beginning July 16, 2020, individuals seeking additional information regarding this event may reach TCPC’s dedicated assistance line toll-free at 1 (833) 573-0850, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. They may also visit TCPC’s website at www.polktaxes.com/notice_of_securityincident.aspx or contact the TCPC by mail at: Tax Collector’s Office for Polk County, c/o Notice of Security Incident, P.O. Box 1189, Bartow, Florida 33831-1189.

- STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT PRIVATE INFORMATION -

TCPC encourages individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review account statements, and to monitor credit reports for suspicious activity. If you see any unauthorized or suspicious activity, promptly contact your bank, credit union, credit card company, or insurance company.

Place a Security Freeze. 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:

  1. Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
  2. Social Security number;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
  5. Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
  6. A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
  7. 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.

Place a Fraud Alert. 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 Consumer Reporting Agencies listed below:

Consumer Reporting Agencies
Experian
P.O. Box 955 st4
Allen, TX 75013
1-888-397-3742
www.experian.com/fraud/center.html
TransUnion
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
1-888-680-7289
www.transunion.com/fraud-alerts
Equifax
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
1-888-766-0008
www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services

Additional Information. 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) 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. 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. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.


Latest Edit: Wednesday, July 15, 2020 | 6:56 PM