CU Employees' Personal Data Stolen From Car

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Oregon Community Credit Union here has moved quickly to protect its employees from identity theft after a break-in potentially exposed their personal information.

A vehicle belonging to an Oregon Community CU employee was broken into in nearby Springfield, Ore., Laura Illig, the credit union's director of marketing, told The Credit Union Journal.

Although the credit union has a strict policy against removal of employees' personal information from the premises, the employee had insurance forms in her car, Illig said.

The insurance forms contained the names and Social Security numbers of all 200 OCCU employees. Of that group, 47 employees had filled out a dental enrollment form, which contained their date of birth, address, and names of dependents, if any.

No member information was in the vehicle, Illig said.

"The car was vandalized, but the insurance forms were not visible, so it is possible the forms were not seen," she said. "But, our feeling was to protect the employees and make them feel safe because the police told us there is a ring in Springfield that has been breaking into cars looking for personal information."

OCCU offers an identity theft restoration product to its members with checking accounts. The product is monitored by a company known as Identity Safeguard, which is headquartered in Tualatin, Ore., a suburb of Portland.

Illig said if someone suffers identity theft while covered by the product, Identity Safeguard "holds their hand" through the recovery process-assisting the person in contacting credit bureaus and restoring his or her credit file. The company also offers an upgraded product that includes proactive monthly monitoring of a person's credit report and reimbursement of expenses stemming from identity theft.

"We automatically provided all 200 employees and their families with the full, upgraded product, paid for 12 months, whether they remain employees for the entire time or not," said Illig. "Because our employees are members, many already had the basic product, but we upgraded it and extended it to their families."

Oregon Community had the ID theft product in place for the employees within one day of being informed of the break-in, she added.

"We are very proud of that. There have been no instances of identity theft reported as a result of this incident, and we hope it remains that way."

The credit union took "appropriate disciplinary action" against the employee who was in possession of the insurance forms, Illig said. In addition, OCCU retrained all employees on the importance of following procedures.

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