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State offers credit and identity theft monitoring to 620,000 educators

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Missouri is offering credit and identity theft monitoring services to 620,000 current and former educators who may have been affected by a data incident last month.

According to a news release, officials will send letters to the people who qualify. Those educators will be eligible for 12 months of services through IDX.

Officials said this is expected to cost the state about $800,000. However, the state says it took advantage of an existing contract with IDX to lower the cost.

The incident affected current and former teachers whose information was in the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education certification database.

As of Wednesday morning, the state said it had no evidence that any personal information has been misused.

The state announced the data incident Oct. 12 after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and one of its reporters exposed a flaw on the state education department's website.

The reporter found hundreds of thousands of Missouri educators' social security numbers were accessible to the public in the HTML code for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website.

The department said Wednesday that the incident was still under investigation.

In the days after the incident, Gov. Mike Parson threatened legal action against the Post-Dispatch and the reporter. The news organization addressed the threats last month.

"The reporter did the responsible thing by reporting his findings to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) so that the state could act to prevent disclosure and misuse," said Joe Martineau the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Attorney from Lewis Rice.

Educators who want to see if they are eligible for the services can call the IDX call center at 833-325-1777. More information on the incident can be found here.

ABC 17 News Team

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