CHICAGO (CBS) — A Peoples Gas employee has been fired after breaching customer information that could be used for identity theft.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Peoples Gas officials said they have notified affected customers about the breach “as soon as we determined the scope of the situation.”

The employee has not been identified.

Customers were notified by phone and in a letter from the company.

“We know that the number of affected customers is finite and very small as compared to the nearly one million customers that we serve, but we are prohibited by Illinois law from providing the exact number,” the company said in an email. “We have no information to indicate that any other customers have been or will be affected by this incident.”

The company did not say what specific information was accessed or how the employee accessed the data.

“As stated in our letters and telephone calls to the affected customers, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas deeply regret this incident and apologize for any inconvenience or worry it brings to those customers,” the company said in its statement. “Unfortunately, in these economic times, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, like companies in many other industries such as retail stores, banks, mortgage companies, and doctors’ offices, are not immune to incidents of identity theft committed by rogue individuals. The Companies are continuing with their theft prevention procedures and vigilant efforts to protect their customers’ data.”

Any Peoples Gas or North Shore Gas customers who believe they might have been the victim of identity theft should file a police report. Customers are also urged to call the Illinois Attorney General’s identity theft hotline at 866-999-5630.

Additional information is also available at the Attorney General’s website.

Watch & Listen LIVE