CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban Chicago man was sent the private information of nearly a dozen people, information that could allow him to open credit cards under their names or even get a mortgage. More shocking is that the source of the names and social security numbers is the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
CBS 2’s Chris Tye cracked the case open last week, and now even after changing its policy, the state printed off more stranger data that showed up Wednesday.
Letters containing names and social security numbers triggered by scammers made it through the unemployment office and into Joe Urbauer’s mailbox. Now the faucet of facts, figures and identities will not turn off.
“I was in disbelief,” Urbauer said last Tuesday when 11 letters from the state, breaching 11 identities, landed in his mailbox.
After days of navigating clogged phone lines and befuddled call takers, he mailed all 11 back to Springfield Tuesday. Notice of safe passage arrived Wednesday. Urbauer said in his eyes his hands were clean of the matter.
But Wednesday morning another surprise complicated matters.
“I opened up my mailbox. I brought my mail in. Three more letters from the State of Illinois,” Urbauer said.
Add Patricia, Valentin and Sharon to his list.
“Social security numbers, all nine digits and the names of strangers that I do not know,” he said.
That brings his tally to 14 people’s data.
“I sat there for about 30 seconds in complete silence,” he said.
When CBS 2 first met Joe last Tuesday, Dec. 22,the state was busy printing this new batch.
“I go on TV, we expose it, and I get letters dated from the same day,” he said.
The very next day, based on CBS 2’s report, IDES stopped all mailing of social security numbers, so this should be the end of it.
“I’m skeptical,” Urbauer said. “I would like personally somebody from the state to call me and say, ‘We’re going to come and pick these letters up and put an end to this.’ I shouldn’t have to mail these back. My main question: Why me?”
It is against the law in Illinois to send social security numbers by mail, with two big exceptions: the State Department of Revenue and IDES.
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