Reader Drew L pointed out this serious snafu on the part of tax giant H&R Block:
I read something on your site about a company or three using a security breach to sell identity protection services. Well today I received a letter from H&R Block (I did my taxes online free there last year, great site). They described how through an error they placed customers’ social security numbers in a 40-digit alphanumeric code on the outside of some free TaxCut software they had sent out. The kicker here is that they were simply writing to inform customers of the mistake and to apologize… no services were offered, sold, or otherwise browbeaten. I thought that part was remarkable.
We don’t know exactly what they could have done to fix the error—the damage is done. But it does feel like they should be offering some recourse.
Just be aware. If you’ve gotten a copy of that TaxCut software, be sure to dispose of it shredded and in separate bags.