Data breach affects hundreds of Pa. welfare benefit recipients

Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News

August 25, 2008

Letters were mailed Monday by the state Department of Public Welfare informing welfare clients that their personal information was breached last week.

Paper jams in a state Department of General Services mail inserter caused 2,845 benefit renewal packets to go to the wrong Pennsylvania welfare client's home. Nearly half of them included the intended recipients' Social Security numbers.

The department placed a 90-day fraud alert on the credit reports of people whose Social Security numbers were shared through the mistake.

"We're taking it very seriously," said Anne Rung, deputy secretary for administration and procurement for General Services.

page ATTRITION feedback