Officials at Tallahassee Community College say the school’s computerized database fell into criminal hands two years ago. Federal investigators have known about the security breach but are just now informing the college. More than 3,000 financial aid records may have been compromised.
Federal officials say the breach happened back in March of 2011. It led to the conviction of a Miami man on charges of access device fraud and identity theft. TCC officials say about 3,300 personnel records in the school’s database were compromised. TCC Police Chief David Hendry said the breach was part of a larger organized crime effort.
“Yes, as we understand it this is a case criminal enterprise that was involved in creating false IRS tax returns and that’s why they were arrested, investigated, and of course indicted and ultimately convicted,” Hendry explained.
The school is contacting each of the 3,000 people by letter to let them know what happened. The letters will contain information about identity theft safeguards. TCC is also setting up a telephone hotline to help possible victims.