USPS investigating personal information breach in Menlo Park

Only On 7: The USPS is investigating after pads of scratch paper with personal information were found at a Menlo Park post office.
November 15, 2013 6:03:46 PM PST
Customers in Menlo Park were shocked at what they found on the counters at the local post office -- social security numbers and other personal information on a pad of scratch paper. It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News.

A postal service spokesperson tells us this could have been a careless example of recycling things that should have been shredded.

But they are launching an investigating to see if this breach was widespread among other post offices, or just isolated to this one. But I can tell you this -- the scratch pads with the personal information were not just found one day, but on two separate occasions. So this was not just a one-time mistake.

"Then I saw the partial social security card," Jan said.

Jan, who does not want her last name used, was shocked when she looked at the pad of scratch paper on the post office counter. It included photocopies of personal information from customers and post office employees.

It included copies of social security cards, driver's licenses, and other information that shouldn't be out there for anyone to see.

Vic: "What reaction did you have?"
Jan: "My first thought was this promotes identity theft. I mean, it's right there for anybody to pick up."

Earlier this week, Jan went to the post office on Bohannon Dr. in Menlo Park. That's when she noticed the photocopies cut into quarters, being used as scratch paper.

"When I saw that, I was pretty shocked," Alisa Funk said.

We showed Funk a copy of her work badge. She provided that and other personal data when she applied for a passport. Funk never thought a post office would compromise her security.

"You'd think your information will be safe going there to get some ID where you could potentially have your ID stolen from you," Funk said.

We asked to see the post office manager.

While we waited, a couple was providing personal information for their child's passport.

"That's horrendous," Janelle London said. "Absolutely horrendous.

They overheard our conversation.

"We assume that none of this information will ever show up on somebody's scratch pad," London said.

We showed branch supervisor Adolph Granato what we found.

Vic: "This is a risk of identity theft is it not?"
Adolph: "I agree with you. Yep, I agree with you."
Vic: "How did this happen?"
Adolph: "I don't know, but I will have to investigate.

We'll let you know what they find.


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