Notice of Privacy Incident
On August 4, 2021 Beacon Communities LLC (“Beacon”) announced a recent event that may impact the security of certain personal information. Although Beacon is unaware of any misuse of this information, we are providing information about the incident, steps taken since discovering the incident, and what an impacted individual can do to better protect against potential misuse of personal information as a result of this incident, should they feel it is appropriate to do so.
On December 7, 2020, Beacon became aware of unusual activity in employee e-mail accounts. In response, Beacon took steps to secure the mailboxes, and began working with a third-party forensic specialist firm to investigate the nature and scope of the incident. The investigation determined that there was unauthorized access by an unknown individual to some employee e-mail accounts between September 28, 2020 and December 23, 2020. At this time, there is no evidence that information was viewed by an unauthorized individual.
Following this determination, Beacon undertook an in-depth, lengthy, and labor-intensive process to identify whether sensitive information may have been contained within the e-mail accounts at issue, identify the individuals whose information may have been impacted, and review internal Beacon records to identify address information for impacted individuals. This review was completed on June 30, 2021. Beacon has sent letters to the affected individuals identified during the review process.
Beacon takes this incident and the security of personal information in our care seriously. Upon learning of this incident, Beacon moved quickly to investigate and respond to this incident, assess the security of relevant systems, and notify potentially affected individuals. Beacon’s response included resetting relevant account passwords, reviewing the contents of the potentially accessed email accounts to determine whether they contained personal information, and reviewing internal systems to identify contact information for purposes of providing notice to potentially affected individuals. As part of Beacon’s ongoing commitment to the security of information, Beacon is also reviewing existing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event. Beacon is also notifying relevant state regulators.
In an abundance of caution, Beacon is providing notice of this incident along with complimentary access to credit monitoring and identity restoration services for affected individuals, and information on what an impacted individual can do to better protect against the possibility of identity theft and fraud. Information on how to enroll in the monitoring service will be included in the letter sent to those whose information may have been accessible. You can also review the information below for guidance on how to protect personal information.
Beacon understands you may have questions that are not addressed here. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this incident, please call our dedicated, toll-free number at 1-855-545-2014, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Personal Information
Under U.S. law, a consumer is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also directly contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below to request a free copy of your credit report.
Consumers have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below.
As an alternative to a fraud alert, consumers have the right to place a “credit freeze” on a credit report, which will prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information in the credit report without the consumer’s express authorization. The credit freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a credit freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a credit freeze on your credit report. To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- Addresses for the prior two to five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.); and
- A copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft if you are a victim of identity theft.
Should you wish to place a fraud alert or credit freeze, please contact the three major credit reporting bureaus listed below:
|Equifax Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 105069 Atlanta, GA 30348-5069||Experian Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013||TransUnion Fraud Alert, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016|
|Equifax Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348-5788||Experian Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013||TransUnion Credit Freeze, P.O. Box 160, Woodlyn, PA 19094|
You may further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, credit freezes, and the steps you can take to protect your personal information by contacting the consumer reporting bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General. The Federal Trade Commission may be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580; www.identitytheft.gov; 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); and TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
For District of Columbia residents, the District of Columbia Attorney General may be contacted at: 400 6th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001; 202-727-3400; and firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Maryland residents, the Maryland Attorney General may be contacted at: 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; 1-410-528-8662 or 1-888-743-0023; and www.oag.state.md.us.
For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer reporting bureaus must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from violator. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting www.consumerfinance.gov/f/201504_cfpb_summary_your-rights-under-fcra.pdf, or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
For New York residents, the New York Attorney General may be contacted at: Office of the Attorney General, The Capitol, Albany, NY 12224-0341; 1-800-771-7755; or https://ag.ny.gov/.
For North Carolina residents, the North Carolina Attorney General may be contacted at: 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6000; and www.ncdoj.gov.
For Rhode Island residents, the Rhode Island Attorney General may be reached at: 150 South Main Street, Providence, RI 02903; www.riag.ri.gov; and 1-401-274-4400. Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident. There are 16 Rhode Island residents impacted by this incident.