If you've received a letter from the United States Department of Justice, you may want to think twice before tossing it as junk mail.

In response to concerns from several residents, Ocean County officials are confirming that DOJ correspondence about a data breach is legitimate.

As of Friday, the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs had been contacted by 17 county residents who received DOJ letters indicating that their personal information may have been leaked following a data breach at a federal government contractor's office.

And the letters are likely going to New Jersey residents beyond Ocean County. More than 300,000 people were impacted by the breach.

"My office sent letters to every individual assuring them the correspondence was legitimate and did originate with the Department of Justice," said Ronald Heinzman, director of the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs.

A DOJ contractor, Greylock McKinnon and Associates, was the victim of a ransonware attack.

As a result, officials say, the personal information of some individuals who had business with the firm may have been revealed. The information may include names, addresses, date of birth, Social Security numbers, driver's license info, and Medicare identifiers.

A letter from DOJ to Ocean County noted that the data breach did not impact federal computers.

The incident was detected close to a year ago, but it took several months for experts to determine the type of information that was compromised.

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