Tukwila, WA – Hard drives, laptops, cellphones, office equipment, door access key cards, gas cards and other items were stolen during a recent burglary at the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) regional office in Tukwila. The Tukwila Police Department is investigating the burglary.
The hard drives held agency files which may have contained personally identifiable information of people who have had business with that specific regional office location and some L&I employees’ and dependents’ personal information. The information may include Social Security or other identification numbers, financial or payment account numbers, email addresses and/or passwords for online accounts, dates of birth, and, in limited circumstances, medical or health insurance information.
L&I has no indication the stolen hard drives or the information on them has been used in any way, and the data is not accessible without considerable effort and technical knowledge, but the agency is taking several precautionary steps.
L&I has notified the State Office of the Attorney General. Out of an abundance of caution, L&I has activated a call center to answer questions and provide resources to individuals who may be involved. The agency is also offering free credit monitoring to those who:
- Have filed a complaint, question, or other form with the L&I Tukwila office;
- Have had involvement as a witness or subject of a case with the L&I Tukwila office;
- Have had involvement as an employer or employee in a claim made to the L&I Tukwila office;
- Are or recently have been an employee or dependent of an employee based in, or whose supervisor is based in, the L&I Tukwila office; or
- Have had other business with the L&I Tukwila office.
The call center’s phone number is 1-833-940-2302. Call center hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time weekdays, excluding federal holidays.
“We know how concerning it can be when your information may have been improperly accessed,” said Steve Reinmuth, L&I Assistant Director for Field Services and Public Safety. “We’re making it a priority to investigate this and notify the public. We’re also setting up help for those who may need it.”
After closing for a few days to clean up and make needed repairs after the March 28 break-in, the L&I Tukwila office is back to normal operation with additional security protocols in place. L&I facilities and information technology managers are reviewing physical and information security at all L&I offices.
L&I has also brought on a special assistant attorney general with expertise in data security incidents to advise the agency on the best process for determining the extent of the data risk.
L&I has compiled additional information and answers to common questions on the L&I homepage. Washington state agencies have also put together helpful resources for individuals who are concerned their data may be exposed.
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions recommends obtaining a free annual credit report, changing your passwords and enabling two-factor authentication on your accounts, and monitoring for unusual activity, among other things. It is always advisable to be vigilant for incidents of fraud or identity theft by reviewing your account statements and free credit reports for any unauthorized activity. Contact information for the three nationwide credit reporting companies is as follows:
- Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374, Equifax Website, 1-800-685-1111
- Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, Experian Website, 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016, Transunion Website,
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or have reason to believe your personal information has been misused, you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s website also compiles resources and guidance for privacy protection and identity theft.