Millions of Maricopa County Community College students, staff notified of security breach

PHOENIX - If you have worked or taken classes within the Maricopa County Community College District , expect to get a letter in the mail in the next few days.

Nearly 2.5 million notices are being sent out, to let you know that your personal information may have been compromised.

The letter is alarming, saying in part "your information including name, address, phone number, email addresses, social security number, date of birth, certain demographical information, and enrollment, academic and financial aid information may have been accessed without authorization."

We first told you about the incident last month .

Spokesman Tom Gariepy with Maricopa Community Colleges says the breach actually happened back in April  but that investigators needed time to identify and locate those at risk.

The breach affects students and workers at all 12 schools that the district runs, regardless of when you attended or worked there.

We've heard from former students that attended in the 1990's that have received a letter.

Susan in the east Valley also got one and writes,"I've never been a MCC student so not sure why my information was compromised. I want to make sure this is legitimate."

But there are several ways your information could be in district's database without you realizing it.

If you've taken an online course, upgraded work certifications, or taken a course at a community center--it may have been accredited through MCCCD.

Officials say they don't know of any misuse of your information, but that doesn't mean it couldn't still happen.

The letter explains that they are offering one year of free credit monitoring through Kroll Advisory Solutions.

The service will also provide an investigator to correct any issues, if you do find a problem.

Be prepared, because you will have to sign up for the monitoring and they ask for your social security number and other verifiable information.

I know, some of you cringe at the idea of giving up personal information again.

But I did research the company involved, they are legitimate and would need the information to confirm who you are.

Also, make sure you go to Annualcreditreport.com to get your three free credit reports.

Spread them out over next year, and make sure no one is using your information to take out credit in their name.

The Maricopa Community College system includes 10 colleges and 2 centers: Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Salado, Scottsdale, South Mountain, Maricopa and Southwest Skill Centers and Maricopa Corporate College.

If you need help or need to warn others about a consumer problem or scam, let me know at joe@abc15.com or by going to my  "Let Joe Know" Facebook page.

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