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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Stolen tape also has information on 225,000 Ohio taxpayers

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS The number of people who could potentially be affected by the theft early last week of a state computer data storage device just became dramatically larger after the state discovered it contained personal information on nearly a quarter of a million taxpayers and lottery winners.

Those affected are 225,000 Ohioans who have not cashed state or school personal income tax checks issued since 2005, 602 Ohio Lottery winners who haven t cashed their checks, 2,488 Ohioans who have haven t cashed checks for previously unclaimed property, and 650 to 1,000 people for whom electronic fund transfers had failed.

The data storage device, stolen from a state intern s car, contained the names, Social Security numbers, and check amounts for the 228,000 or so people added to the list yesterday. The state has gradually expanded the list of affected people as it continues to review the on-site twin of the data storage device that the 22-year-old college intern had been asked to take home as a security measure.

By yesterday evening there had not been a single case of anyone attempting to violate the privacy of those 20,000 who had already registered (for identify theft monitoring), so there is no indication at this point that there has been a breach of the device in a way that would access personal information, said Gov. Ted Strickland.

The state is extending to the new pool of people its offer of taxpayer-funded credit monitoring that had originally been offered largely to 64,000 state employees. It is also in the process of mailing letters to those whose information has been found to be on the device.

The intern was working in an office testing part of the state s new $158 million Ohio Administrative Knowledge System designed to consolidate the computerized payroll, purchasing, and other accounting functions of numerous state agencies.

Those who suspect they may be among those affected or who want to sign up for the identity theft monitoring may visit www.ohio.gov/idprotect, listen to a recorded message at 1-888-644-6812, or talk to a live person at 1-800-267-4474 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

Contact Jim Provance at:jprovance@theblade.comor 614-221-0496.



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