Clients of Advocate Health Care need to be warned of their increased risk of identity theft in the wake of this computer theft.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 16, 2013
Scambook, the Internet’s leading consumer advocacy platform, is warning the public that an estimated 4 million Chicago-area healthcare patients may be at risk of identity theft after a privacy breach occurred at the Illinois company Advocate Health Care. This comes to light after the company had four computers stolen in July that held private patient information including Social Security numbers, addresses, and dates of birth. *
“Clients of Advocate Health Care need to be warned of their increased risk of identity theft in the wake of this computer theft. Social Security numbers, addresses, and dates of birth can all be used to create identities that can be sold on the black market,” says Scambook’s Director of Marketing Kase Chong.
Although this private information was password protected, none of the Advocate Health Care’s computer hard drives were encrypted, allowing thieves to bypass this password protection and potentially access the patient data.
Advocate Health Care is facing a class action lawsuit for this privacy breach of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). In return for this breach, they are providing patients with a year of free credit monitoring service to keep an eye on financial transactions carried out in the individual’s name and to help spot fraudulent account activity.
Scambook advises all consumers worried about similar situations to heed to the following tips:
1. Be proactive about identity theft: It is important to know the potential damage identity theft can cause. Researching different situations will impart how important it is to keep personal information safe.
2. Know how to fix the problem: Individuals who know which steps to take once identity theft occurs will be better prepared should it happen.
3. Be mindful of personal information distributed: Social Security numbers should only be provided when absolutely necessary and through safe, secure modes.
4. Be aware of service breaches: Knowing when a company has been breached will enable consumers to take action right away.
5. Check credit reports for suspicious activity: Services such as AnnualCreditReport.com provide credit reports that can help spot fraudulent changes in an account’s activity.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.
- McCann, Erin, “Advocate Health Slappwed with Lawsuit After Massive Data Breach,” http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/AdvocateHealth-slapped-with-lawsuit-after-massive-data-breach 09/06/2013