Victims of state unemployment data incident feeling the impact

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UPDATE: David Murray from the Unemployment Insurance Agency released a statement, saying the data incident was not "a breach."

"It was not a data breach. A breach is when someone from outside invades a system and takes information. That’s not what happened here at all.

Identify theft is a big problem in Michigan and across the country. But there is no evidence that any data was taken in this incident, and to say that Mr. Davidson’s situation is connected with the exposure identified on Jan. 30 is absolutely incorrect.

The only people who would have been able to see this information was human resources professionals who deal with such sensitive information every day. There is no evidence that anyone clicked on this data."

-Original story is below-

Close to two million people in Michigan at risk for identity theft following a data breach at the state level - and now that breach is affecting some victims.

The breach occurred in October and now Alan Davidson and upwards of two million people could pay for it.

"The breach occurred in October and we're just finding out about it now," said Alan Davidson. "Someone is asleep at the switch."

Davidson's employer told him someone tried to secure unemployment benefits in his name after getting a hold of his Social Security number.

"I wondered how my information got compromised," he said. "I inquired at work, and they were told the state had been compromised."

But when Davidson called the state's unemployment insurance agency, they denied it.

State officials learned of a system glitch that caused the data breach on Jan. 30.  It may have exposed a couple million people's personal information.

The discovery happened just a few days before Davison's job told him someone had his social security number.

"In the state report they said nobody's information had been used for anything inappropriate or illegal," Davidson said.

David Murray is the communications director for the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development

"Identity theft is a growing problem, not only in Michigan," said Murray. "But across the country. And we've been working with the Michigan State Police and with federal authorities to nail down this problem and try to crack down on identity theft.

"It's so upsetting and it's so frustrating for people to get letters like this to be informed that this happened. We're on their side; we want to protect them and help them and fight this problem."

Davidson is thankful no one was able to get unemployment benefits using his personal information. Now he's tying up loose ends to protect his life from an identity thief and offers these words of wisdom.

"If you're information has been compromised," he said. "You need to take a bunch of steps to protect your credit, your social security, your 401K, everything you can think of."

Here's how you can start if you're in the unemployment benefit system and think your information was compromised- call this number - 1-855-707-8387, the line is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

You may also get more information by CLICKING HERE.

The total number of how many people were exposed is not known, investigators are working with Michigan State Police and authorities in Florida where a few suspected identity thieves tried to access people's unemployment benefits. They are under arrest.