Mailing May Have Risked Taxpayers’ Identities

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NORWALK, Ohio -- A mass mailing mistake may have put some Northeast Ohio taxpayers’ identities at risk.

Last week, the City of Norwalk mailed out 8,000 postcards reminding taxpayers who earned income in Norwalk that they are required to fill out a municipal income tax form.

The mailing contained a return postcard for anyone requesting a blank municipal income tax form. Norwalk Law Director Stuart O’Hara said that postcard mistakenly contained the taxpayer’s name and social security number.

"If they returned the postcard to the publisher because they wish to have a hard copy of the tax form then the social security number would become visible,” O’Hara stated.

Charlene Booher, of Norwalk, was surprised when she got the mailing.

“It had my social security number on it. I'm like –oh --that's really nice. You know that's a bad error on their part," she said.

O’Hara said the mistake came from the publishing company the city used to print and mail out the postcards.

"They thought it was an account number, some other type of identifier. But it did not have any dashes like a typical social security number does. It was just an error on their part,” said O'Hara.

Booher is worried about what could happen.

“They could get a hold of my personal information, bank accounts things like that," she said.

O'Hara said a second mailing went out this week disclosing the social security mistake and what the taxpayer should do.

"Please destroy safely the postcard that they received and here is a new one without the social security on it," said O'Hara.

O’Hara said the city will most likely not send out a mass mailing next year and make blank municipal income tax forms available at places like the post office and libraries.


    • ANGELA

      Agreed. What is the administrative staff for? They couldn’t have printed the postcards themselves? Guess not . . . . .

  • Dana

    So Make sure you do a report on it & Run the story “all over”and let all the thieves know! had you not said anything They most likely wouldn’t have noticed. SMH

  • Joe

    It should be noted that they just gave your SS out to a publishing company, How and why do you get junk mail? Plus when did government have the right to just give your SS out to mass media. They should make the publishing company name public then look for junk mail and other stuff from this company. If found junk mail starts to pop up. I see class action.

  • Joe

    publishing company with 8000 SS? I am sure they will do the right thing. Wait don’t they get paid on how well they target the public, sure 8000 SS numbers might help.

  • John Beck

    they were right. it is an account number. it’s the tax I’d account number. just what the world would they expect your tax I’d to be other than your ssn?

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