DEO confirms ‘security incident,’ those affected have been notified

DEO Reports Data Breach

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - ABC7 has learned that there has been a security incident regarding re-employment assistance with the Department of Economic Opportunity website. The department says it was caught within an hour and those affected will be given identity protection.

A DEO representative told us Thursday night that they have notified 98 people that were part of the data security incident.

ABC7 received calls about an email that was sent out to applicants that many thought was a phishing scam. The DEO has told that this is a legit email from the company. We have learned of no correlation between that email and this data breach.

The DEO said the email was sent “to individuals who applied via paper or the mobile friendly application. This email is to deliver them their temporary PIN in order to access the CONNECT system and is extremely important for this person to collect their benefits”

“We have notified individuals that were part of a data security incident associated with Reemployment Assistance claims. This issue was addressed within 1 hour after we became aware of the incident. While the incident was handled within 1 hour, in an abundance of caution, we are making available identity protection services at no charge to affected individuals, and we have also advised them to report any unauthorized activity on their financial accounts. At this time, we have not received any reports of malicious activity," reads a statement from a DEO spokesperson.

Florida senator Linda Stewart wrote on social media she sent a letter to Secretary Jonathan Satter about the matter asking why weren’t notified and why it wasn’t on the deo website.

State representatives like Rep. Margaret Good are asking for transparency from the DEO on how many people were affected and how they plan to prevent this from happening again.

“The last thing thousands of Floridians who are being failed by the unemployment system want to hear is that their data may now be at risk," said Good.

ABC7 will update this story with more information as it is received.

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