December 18, 2014 – In a new development on the earlier data breach at the Postal Service, USPS has now sent individual letters to another group of employees who may have had personal information compromised. USPS informed us that a large number of Workers Compensation records were “possibly” compromised, in some cases including not only personal identifying information (such as social security number), but certain medical information and bank routing information as well. Further, these types of records go back many years, as opposed to the earlier reports related to records back as far as May 2012.
All affected employees and former employees should begin receiving letters this week from the Postal Service, alerting them to this possible breach, and recommending actions they should take to protect themselves.
If you are not sure whether your OWCP claim is one of those affected, or if you wish to speak with someone directly about your situation, you are encouraged to contact the USPS Human Resources Shared Service Center 1-877-477-3273 and choose option 5 (option 1 for TDD/TTY), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. eastern time.
In an on-line story posted on our web site on November 19, 2014, we provided links to some helpful web sites that provide more information on data breaches, and how to protect yourself against adverse consequences. In addition to credit monitoring, some of these sites suggest that individuals consider protecting themselves against “existing account fraud” by placing a fraud alert, a freeze, or both on their credit report. In many states, victims of a data breach can freeze their credit for free, but be aware that such a freeze may be inconvenient if you are trying to obtain credit, such as applying for a new credit card, buying or renting a place to live, etc. We encourage you to review this information carefully to decide how best to protect yourself going forward, as the NPMHU National Office continues to do everything in its power to address this breach, and to prevent future breaches that may affect employees, retirees, and others at the Postal Service.