WEST VALLEY CITY -- After receiving a letter containing someone else’s Social Security number from a state office, a West Valley City woman feared the worst.
The Office of Recovery Services deals with the private personal information of residents inside of Utah and across the country. After Jaqueline Smith received a letter, Saturday, containing someone else’s Social Security number she panicked and wondered who had hers.
ORS handles Smith’s son’s medical insurance. The last three days have been filled with concern and ‘what ifs’ for the mother.
“I got their information – what information, if any, was sent out to this person?” Smith wondered.
The first two pages were ones she had received before. But on the third page were listed names and information of someone she’d never met.
“It’s two individuals,” Smith said. “It has their social security numbers, date of births, the county and state they live in – as well as how much they owe ORS.”
The West Valley City woman assumed there had been a mix up. She feared this meant someone (who shouldn’t) had her son’s social security number.
“I broke down crying really upset because I was just thinking the worst case possible,” she said.
Officials with ORS believe the incident was isolated because the letter was generated by an individual rather than the agency’s computer system.
“This is a letter that was put together in an office by a human and unfortunately an individual document that did not pertain to this person was included in the letter,” said Elizabeth Sollis with Utah’s Department of Human Services, an agency that oversees ORS.
ORS can’t guarantee that Smith’s son’s information hasn’t been accidentally released because the only way they knew the mistake was made was because Smith reported it.
“I’d have to check the credit reports now to make sure and possibly pay a company to put the flags on there because of this mishap that ORS did,” Smith said.
ORS is taking full responsibility and says mistakes like these are rare but are taken seriously.
ORS deals with child support enforcement, paternity establishment and Medicaid recovery.