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Workers' Social Security Numbers in Found Documents

5:02 PM, Nov 20, 2010   |    comments
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Satchel with Labor Department Worker Info

It is a bit of a mystery which State Police and the New York State Labor Department are now looking into...how could a satchel loaded with state documents and state employees' social security numbers end up along the side of a local highway on-ramp ?

A caller to our Tipline, who wishes to remain anonymous, told us he spotted and retrieved the satchel labeled "New York State Labor Department" recently from the side of the Seneca Street entrance to the 400 Expressway.

The man says he opened it to find documents regarding investigators from the state labor department's unemployment compensation division. There is a list of numerous state employees, their social security numbers, and seniority dates. There is also correspondence with State Civil Service and other matters.

Most of the files appear to date back to the mid 1980's.

The caller told us he was concerned that someone might try to use the Social Security information for identity theft. He tried to contact the State Labor Department but kept getting voice mail and was never able to reach a person to discuss his discovery.

So he called the WGRZ 2 On Your Side Tipline to ask for help in reaching the right people.

We got this response from New York Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardner : "The Department of Labor would like to thank this concerned New Yorker for coming forward with this information. We take this matter very seriously. We have also discussed it with State Police, and we have already agreed to work together to retrieve the bag. Once we retrieve the satchel, we will examine it to determine the appropriate Departmental response. If individual Social Security numbers are indeed in there, we will make every attempt to contact everyone listed to inform them immediately."      

   

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