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I-Team: Lewiston woman says Social Security Administration leaked her personal information

A Lewiston woman says her social security number, and other personal information, was leaked by the Social Security Administration itself.

AUBURN (WGME) -- A Lewiston woman says her social security number, and other personal information, was leaked by the Social Security Administration itself.

Jerryanne LaPerriere said she's turning 65 later this month, so a couple weeks back, she went to the Social Security office in Auburn to apply for Medicare, and ended up doing it online.

Last week, she said a letter came in the mail from a woman in New Jersey, along with confirmation paperwork that included LaPerriere's social security number, birth date, address and phone number.

The letter reads in part, "I decided to send it directly to you, because sending it back to the SSA would probably confuse them even more than they already are, and I didn't want to take a chance it would get in the wrong hands."

LaPerriere would like to know how all of her personal information ended up at the wrong address.

"I felt very unprotected," she said. "I try so hard to be careful with private information, and who leaks my most private information, but the Social Security Administration."

When she talked to a supervisor the next day, she said he told her he'd let the specific office know what happened and suggested she check her credit report in a few months.

"I couldn't believe the lack of alarm or willingness to do something substantial about it," she said.

Steve Richardson, regional communications director for the Social Security Administration tells the I-Team, "We have been in direct contact with Ms. LaPerriere to address her concerns and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Safeguarding personal information is extremely important to us."

LaPerriere knows the outcome could have been much worse.

"At first I was still worried about this woman, and my friend said, 'Jerryanne, they're not gonna go to the bother of writing you a letter and enclosing it if they're going to (do) anything malicious with your information,'" she said.

LaPerriere said she's planning to send a note back to the woman in New Jersey, thanking her for what she did.

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