BELTON - Belton ISD is providing employees a free membership with Experian's ProtectMyID Alert following the personal information breach Friday that sent 1,700 W-2s to an unknown party.
The breach happened after an employee send the W-2s to who they believed to be the Superintendent Susan Kin Cannon via email. The school district stated they have notified the FBI, IRS, state taxing authorities, and local police.
The breach puts many employees in an unfortunate position. Better Business Bureau Director Adam Price said that a W-2 has all the information needed to quickly steal a persons identity and open credit cards, file tax returns in the victims name, or sell the identity to a third party.
"The reality is, once that information is in the hand of a con man, it doesn't take any time at all for them to go online literally and process your taxes and steal your money," Price said.
Fortunately, there are some things that those people affected can do to be proactive.
First, employees should file their tax returns immediately before a con man gets the chance to do so.
Secondly, anyone affected should freeze their credit card file. A person can call their banks and credit card companies and request that their credit be frozen. They should also contact the three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion - to request that their credit be frozen.
Third, employees should sign up for a credit monitoring services, such as the one provided by BISD, as soon as possible so they will be alerted when their personal information is used.
BISD sent employees an email Thursday with information on how to access a credit monitoring service free for two years. If you did not receive that information but believe your W-2 may have been affected, contact the school district immediately.