Data Breach Might Have Exposed Client Data

A potential data breach was reported to police by the United Way of the Big Bend (UWBB) in Tallahassee, Fla.

Approximately 64 people who participated in the organization’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) might have had their information accessed when it was allegedly stolen from a program coordinator during a car burglary.

The agency says many of the individuals impacted had already filed their taxes. The VITA program is a free service that helps taxpayers get their taxes prepared and filed.

UWBB President and CEO Katrina Rolle released a statement on the matter.

“The United Way of the Big Bend is actively working with authorities to help determine how a possible data breach of a proven program which helps qualified taxpayers file their taxes may have been compromised.

“The agency has already contacted the 64 individuals whose data may be impacted to provide assistance on steps to take to further protect their information. The individuals are among the more than 1,000 local taxpayers that utilize the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) each year. For more than 15 years, this highly successful partnership between the UWBB and the IRS has provided tax preparation/ filing services at no cost to the taxpayer.

“We recently became aware of a possible data security breach that occurred when taxpayer information inside a secure lock box was stolen from the vehicle of a VITA site coordinator in late March,” Rolle said.

“Working with the IRS and the Tallahassee Police Department, we’ve taken positive, proactive steps to cooperate and collaborate, including reaching out directly to our potentially affected taxpayers to help protect them by providing the facts and important information,” she said.

“The IRS was also able to provide information for each individual on the status of their 2018 tax return, with the vast majority already successfully filed and accepted and not impacted by this possible breach.”