Identity theft attorney became victim of DNR data breach - KMSP-TV

Identity theft attorney became victim of DNR data breach

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Christa Groshek usually spends her time defending people who have been accused of identity theft, but she admits she was a little surprised to find out she'd been snooped on amid the driver's license data breach at the Department of Natural Resources.

"To be frank, I was a little creeped out," Groshek told FOX 9 News.

A day after she explained why she defends those who are accused of identity theft, she received a letter from the DNR that told her she was among the 5,000 people affected by the data breach -- the majority of whom are women in the public eye. Now, she's safeguarding her credit and identity.

"I thought it was a little ironic," she said. "I also wondered what he was doing, accessing all this information in his spare time."

So, she put the advice she gives others into action.

"The first thing I did was call and make a report to the three credit agency bureaus," Groshek said. "I also got a new driver's license. I figure if there was an issue with identification, then I could clearly show there'd been a fraud issue."

Groshek also filed a notice with the Federal Trade Commission to bolster her evidence that she attempted to stop any potential fraud in advance.

For those who received a letter from the DNR, Groshek urged them to consider contacting the attorneys who have filed class-action suits against John Hunt, the employee named in the data breach, to get potential relief from the courts -- which could amount to $2,500 for each time he illegally viewed a victim's driver's record.

Two class-action lawsuits are already in the works. Thomas J. Lyons and Joshua R. Williams are the men behind those suits.

Hunt has not been arrested or formally charged, but Groshek said that just makes her more uncomfortable.

"I don't know what he looks like," she said. "I kind of wonder who he is and what he is doing. There's still that feeling that there's this man I've never met, that has no right to my information -- and he's out there."

FOX 9 News attempted to contact the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on their investigation, but they did not return calls.

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