Employees and volunteers at Edmonds-based Holy Rosary School are among the victims of a database breach reported earlier this week by the Archdiocese of Seattle, Edmonds police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marsh confirmed Friday afternoon.
Police have been taking reports from victims this week, and a quick check by My Edmonds News Friday showed at least 17 reports filed through Thursday alone.
Holy Rosary Principal Sue Venable confirmed that her school has been affected by the breach, calling it “very unfortunate.”
According to a notice posted on the Seattle Archdiocese website, victims’ Social Security numbers have been used in fraudulent tax returns for the calendar year 2013. “Please be assured that we are taking appropriate steps to determine whether or not there has been a breach of systems within the Archdiocese which may include Parishes and Schools, the systems of our vendors or if there is a problem with some other source,” the notice said.
The archdiocese said it has hired the forensic security firm Stroz Friedberg to investigate. A spokesman told our online news partner The Seattle Times earlier this week it is unknown how many parishes and schools are affected.
All Archdiocese of Seattle employees and volunteers have been advised to call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490, Ext. 245, where an IRS representative can determine if their tax identity has been compromised. If it has, victims should follow instructions from the representative, which could include contacting a credit reporting agency, and making an identity theft report to the Federal Trade Commission. Victims have also been instructed to file a police report with their local police department.
The archdiocese asks anyone who discovers his or her tax return has been compromised to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include full name, parish or school, and identify whether they are an employee or volunteer. You can find additional information in the complete archdiocese notice here.