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Notice of Data Event

Notice of Data Event

The College of Health Care Professions Notice of Data Privacy Event

Houston, Texas – March 26, 2021 – Although we are unaware of any actual or attempted misuse, The College of Health Care Professions (“CHCP”) is providing notice of a data privacy event impacting the privacy of certain information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happened?

On September 21, 2020, CHCP became aware of suspicious activity relating to an employee email account that was sending unauthorized messages. We immediately launched an investigation to determine what may have happened. We determined that an unauthorized individual accessed two employee email accounts between approximately March 5, 2020 and October 3, 2020. Because we were unable to determine which email messages in the two accounts may have been viewed by the unauthorized actor, we reviewed the entire contents of the affected email accounts to identify what personal information was accessible to the unauthorized actor. After a thorough review, CHCP identified the impacted individuals on February 10, 2021. Once we identified the individuals who were potentially impacted, CHCP worked to confirm current mailing addresses for the impacted individuals and prepare an accurate written notice of this incident.

 

What information may have been affected by this incident?

 Although we cannot confirm whether any personal information was actually accessed or viewed without permission, we are providing you this notification out of an abundance of caution, because such activity cannot be ruled out. One or more of the following types of information for current or former students and/or applicants, were present in an email or attachment that was located in one of the affected email accounts at the time of the unauthorized access and may have been viewed by an unauthorized actor: name and date of birth, Social Security number, financial account number, payment card number, driver’s license number, passport number, username and password to an online account, electronic signature, and/or medical or health-related information.

We have no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of any individual’s information as a result of this incident.

How will individuals know if they are affected by this incident?

 CHCP is mailing notice letters to the potentially affected individuals for whom we have valid mailing addresses. If an individual did not receive a letter but would like to know if they are affected, they may call the dedicated assistance line listed below.

What is CHCP doing in response?

 CHCP has strict security measures to protect the information in our possession. Upon learning of this incident, we changed the affected employees’ email account passwords and took steps to secure the accounts. We are currently implementing extensive additional technical safeguards on our email system and providing additional training and education for employees to help prevent similar future incidents.  In addition to providing notice to the affected individuals, CHCP has notified the Federal Student Aid division of the U.S. Department of Education.

Who should individuals contact for more information?

If individuals have questions or would like additional information, they may call our dedicated assistance line at (866) 274-4371 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Central Time, or Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time, excluding major U.S. holidays. You may also write to us at 2550 North Loop W., Houston, TX 77092.

What can individuals do to protect their information?

While CHCP is unaware of any actual or attempted misuse of any information involved in this incident, we encourage those potentially impacted by the event to take steps to better protect against identity theft and fraud if they feel it is appropriate to do so.

Monitor Your Accounts

To protect against the possibility of identity theft or other financial loss, CHCP encourages you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. 

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 your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.  You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of your credit report.

Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a 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 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 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 your name without your consent.  However, you should be aware that using a credit 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 credit freeze on your credit report.  To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information.

    1. Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
    2. Social Security number;
    3. Date of birth;
    4. Addresses for the prior two to 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.); and
    7. A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.

Should you wish to place a fraud alert or credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/

https://www.experian.com/help/

https://www.transunion.com/credit-help

888-298-0045

1-888-397-3742

833-395-6938

Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069

Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788

Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013

TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094

 

For District of Columbia residents, the District of Columbia Attorney General may be contacted at: 441 4th St. NW #1100 Washington, D.C. 20001; 202-727-3400; and oag@dc.gov.

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. SSC is located at 6111 Broken Sound Pkwy NW #200, Boca Raton, FL 33487.

For North Carolina residents, the North Carolina Attorney General may be contacted at: 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6000; and www.ncdoj.gov.

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 an unknown number of 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.

For New York residents, the New York Attorney General may be contacted at: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; 1-800-771-7755; or https://ag.ny.gov/.

 

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