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Susan Combs Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

For Immediate Release
April 15, 2011

Credit-Monitoring Discount Available to Individuals Affected by Personal Data Exposure

Comptroller Continues Investigating Incident and
Enhancing Information Security

(AUSTIN) —The Texas Comptroller’s office has arranged for individuals affected by an inadvertent exposure of personal data to receive a 70 percent discount on one year of credit monitoring to alert them if their information is misused.

“We have negotiated with the Experian credit reporting agency to reduce its normal credit monitoring fee,” said Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. “Affected individuals may take advantage of this opportunity by going to www.TXsafeguard.org to obtain a promotion code entitling them to the discount. Additional details of the credit monitoring offer will be available through a link to Experian’s website.”

Another option is a fraud alert that can be placed in a credit file free of charge. A free 90-day fraud alert lets potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft and can make it more difficult for someone else to obtain credit in your name. A fraud alert can be established by contacting just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax or TransUnion – which will then notify the other two.

There is no indication that any personal information has been misused after it was exposed on a Comptroller’s office server that was accessible to the public.

“I deeply regret that personal data and public trust have been compromised,” Combs said. “We are working diligently to help affected individuals protect themselves against potential abuse of their personal information and to ensure that this type of data exposure never happens again.”

A number of steps have been taken since discovery of the data exposure.

  • As of today, the head of Innovation and Technology and the head of Information Security are no longer employed at the Comptroller’s office. In addition, two other employees were let go after the data exposure was discovered.
  • The Comptroller’s office has contracted with Gartner and Deloitte, two leading information technology consultants and service providers, to examine information security policies and procedures at the agency from an outside perspective and advise the agency on any action needed to enhance policy and procedures.
  • The Comptroller’s office is continuing to work with the Texas Attorney General’s office and the FBI in their ongoing investigation of the data exposure.
  • A mailing continues, notifying each individual affected by the data exposure and offering advice on how to guard against identity theft.
  • The Comptroller’s office has established a website www.TXSafeguard.org to provide helpful information. A toll-free phone line at 1-855-474-2065 is also available with information.