Thousands of Arizona children at risk of identity theft - Tucson News Now

Thousands of Arizona children at risk of identity theft

By Barbara Grijalva - email

The Department of Economic Security sent parents a letter telling them that someone had stolen a back-up computer hard drive from a storage facility in Phoenix.

It has a lot of personal family information, the kind that can be used to steal identities.

The possible theft of his young child's personal information is a frightening thought for Tucsonan Mike Cuthbertson.

He wants more information.

"They had no idea who stole it or whether or it was encrypted or how secure the information was," he says.

Cuthbertson's family got the letter from DES's Arizona Early Intervention Program, telling parents about the missing hard drive.

The letter says, quote, "The hard drive contained information that may include your name and address, insurance information, and your child's disability information, date of birth, and social security number," unquote.

But D-E-S doesn't think there's a major threat.

The agency says it's taking steps to protect the families.

Vicki Gaubeca is with the DES Public Information Office.

"We do not believe the burglars were intending to get D-E-S personal information and also we do not believe any personal information has been compromised," she says.

In the letter, DES tells parents that Phoenix police don't think the thieves know what they have.

Gaubeca says they broke into several storage lockers and took things, such as furniture.

The DES letter advises parents to learn how to protect themselves and their children from identity theft.

"I'm aware of how to protect myself from identity theft, but it's distressing to think about having to go get a credit report on a six year old child," Cuthbertson says.

Gaubeca says the agency will keep parents informed as the case progresses.

The DES letter has links to the Federal Trade Commission web site and the Arizona Attorney General's office web site so parents can get tips on how to guard against identity theft.

The D-E-S letter also has a link to get a credit report.

To request a free credit report, click on the link, or call 1-877-322-8228.

The D-E-S says families who have more questions may call the Arizona Early Intervention Program at 1-888-439-5609.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Tucson Goes Red for Women

    Tucson Goes Red for Women

    Monday, September 25 2017 10:59 AM EDT2017-09-25 14:59:45 GMT

    You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend. The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

    You might have seen a lot of people wearing red in support of Go Red for Women over the weekend. The group held a luncheon Saturday focusing on women's heart health.

  • Construction crews begin Cortaro Farms widening project

    Construction crews begin Cortaro Farms widening project

    Monday, September 25 2017 9:11 AM EDT2017-09-25 13:11:10 GMT
    Construction begins on Cortaro Farms Road (Source: Tucson News Now)Construction begins on Cortaro Farms Road (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Construction crews will begin a widening project on the northwest side on Monday, Sept. 25. Crews have been spotted along Cortaro Farms Road over last couple of months prepping the road for the improvement project that stretches from Camino de Oeste to Thornydale Road.

    Construction crews will begin a widening project on the northwest side on Monday, Sept. 25. Crews have been spotted along Cortaro Farms Road over last couple of months prepping the road for the improvement project that stretches from Camino de Oeste to Thornydale Road.

  • Diamondbacks clinch playoff spot, home field with win over Marlins

    UPDATE: Diamondbacks clinch playoff spot, home field after win

    Monday, September 25 2017 9:08 AM EDT2017-09-25 13:08:53 GMT

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (90-66) have clinched a spot in the MLB post season and will host the National League wild card game.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (90-66) have clinched a spot in the MLB post season and will host the National League wild card game.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Boy beaten with hammer while protecting sister dies

    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT
    Sunday, September 24 2017 2:13 AM EDT2017-09-24 06:13:24 GMT

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

    The suspect in the beatings faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and lewd acts with a child under 14.

  • Don't talk about mom: NFL players angry over Trump's insult

    Don't talk about mom: NFL players angry over Trump's insult

    Monday, September 25 2017 2:17 AM EDT2017-09-25 06:17:27 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 10:41 AM EDT2017-09-25 14:41:18 GMT

    Players, owners and commissioners past and present chastised the president for his divisive remarks, but the angriest responses came from players upset that he'd insulted their mothers.

    Players, owners and commissioners past and present chastised the president for his divisive remarks, but the angriest responses came from players upset that he'd insulted their mothers.

  • Tennessee church shooting suspect charged with murder

    Tennessee church shooting suspect charged with murder

    Monday, September 25 2017 3:27 AM EDT2017-09-25 07:27:49 GMT
    Monday, September 25 2017 10:42 AM EDT2017-09-25 14:42:08 GMT

    Police charged the suspected gunman, who killed one and shot six at a Tennessee church Sunday, with one count of murder and said multiple charges were pending.

    Police charged the suspected gunman, who killed one and shot six at a Tennessee church Sunday, with one count of murder and said multiple charges were pending.

Powered by Frankly