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TAMPA, Fla — A recent security data breach within the Department of Economic Opportunity has claimants like Laurie Dattalo worried about identity theft.

“Immediately when I found out I reached out to my bank, everything I could, the credit bureau, everything,” she said.

Dattalo froze her credit, which is what a cybersecurity expert told ABC Action News is step number one when your personal information has been compromised. Step number 2 is to change the PIN code you use to sign into CONNECT.

“Every three days I’ve got to get up and do the pin reset, it shouldn’t have to be that way,” she said.

That’s because for whatever reason, every time Dattalo gets her account unlocked, and resets her PIN; she must repeat the process again a few days later when her account gets locked again. Sometimes, she gets sent to a page that says, “your account has reached the maximum number of failed log-in attempts.”

“Two or three days later, I went back in and it did the same thing, too many attempts. I said well I just got this changed!” Dattalo said about her pin reset. “So I had to spend more time on the phone to get somebody to reset it and again, here we go three days later it kicked me out.”

She describes herself as a patient person but says it’s taken hours and hours on the phone, and online, to get her PIN reset, only to loop back around.

“It’s unacceptable,” she said. “I mean if you’re paying millions and millions of dollars to have a system that’s supposed to be in place and this happens and they have to shut down every weekend or every weeknight, it’s unacceptable.”

The DEO help center leads folks to a guide that goes through the steps on how to reset your pin, but there’s no way to send your info into the DEO if you’ve completed those steps multiple times and keep getting locked out.

We reached out to the DEO about what claimants should do. This is what they said:

“We are looking into the matter below, thank you for reaching out about it. Additionally, In an abundance of caution, the Department reset PINs for the individuals who were impacted by the data breech. These claimants will be prompted to reset their PIN when they try to log-in to CONNECT. This could be what you are seeing. If they still have trouble accessing their account or attempting to reset their PIN, please let me know.”

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