- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Latest on breach of Connecticut college savings accounts (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

The company that runs one of Connecticut’s college savings accounts says it doesn’t appear $1.4 million was fraudulently withdrawn because the thieves obtained the account holders’ personal information from TIAA-CREF’s website or any of its associated vendors.

Chad Peterson, a spokesman for TIAA-CREF’s Tuition Financing Inc., said Wednesday the facts show the culprits obtained the personally identifiable information from a source other than Tuition Financing Inc. or the Connecticut Higher Education Trust, also known as CHET. That information was then used to gain unauthorized access to the savings accounts.

State Treasurer Denise Nappier says 21 CHET Direct 529 savings plans were breached. Of the $1.4 million taken, $442,540 was recovered or stopped.



TIAA-CREF is replenishing the accounts. Peterson says the company has found no evidence of any additional fraud.

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4:20 p.m.

Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier’s office says 21 of the department’s college savings account customers have been hacked, resulting in than $1.4 million worth of unauthorized withdrawals.

The office announced Wednesday it was advised of the breach by the Connecticut Higher Education Trust or CHET Direct program manager, which is TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. Unauthorized individuals were apparently able to gain online access to the customers’ accounts, making a total of 44 unauthorized withdrawals.

Of the $1.4 million withdrawn, the treasury says $442,540 was recovered or stopped. CHET Advisor accounts that are managed by The Hartford were not breached.

The office says TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. will fully restore all affected account holders and provide various identity fraud protection services.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are investigating the breach.

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This story has been corrected to properly spell TIAA-CREF.

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