Location: Scotts Valley, CA, United States

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fraudulent Friday

An 18-month data breach involving 15,000 patients at Upper Valley Medical Center in Troy allowed unauthorized access to patients’ names, address, hospital account number and balanced owed.

Could the thief, posing as the real patient, gain access to the hospital for their own medical needs? The result of Medical ID Theft is that the medical records of the victim are often corrupted with the thief's blood type, their allergies, drug sensitives, etc., so that the victim's life and wellness is at stake when medical professionals rely on that corrupted information to provide therapy.

Mid-July 2012, the Boston Globe broke the news that Beacon Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) was sending letters to 3,900 potential victims of a health data breach resulting from the theft of a physician’s personal laptop that contained patient information.

Now comes word out of Chicago of a patient health information breach at the hospice offices of Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH). According to the hospital, the offices at 676 N. St. Clair Street were robbed of six laptops and tablets on June 11, 2012. By June 15, after reporting the event to the Chicago Police Department and undergoing an internal investigation, the hospital discovered that the devices were in the midst of a software upgrade that left them especially vulnerable to becoming compromised because typical security features were shut off as part of the process.

The number of victims was not released in the announcement, but because of the nature of the report and the requirements of the HITECH law, it must be more than 500 records that were compromised. Read more here: Stolen laptops, thumb-drives, and tablets are the reason many data-breaches take place.

Data Breaches Are on the Rise: Be Prepared

 Identity thieves are constantly inventing more destructive ways to obtain consumers' personal information. Data compromise in both private and public sectors are on the rise, as evident in the recently announced Elections Ontario privacy breach.While it is impossible to completely prevent identity fraud or theft, consumers can take preventative measures to reduce their personal risk and may consider placing a fraud prevention alert on their credit file. This preventive alert informs creditors that the consumer's personal information may have been lost or stolen and suggests that they validate that the credit application is legitimate.

It is the author's opinion that you do not need to pay anyone to put a credit alert or freeze on your personal information credit file at the 3 credit repositories. You can do that yourself by calling them directly.

What you do need is Restoration services. For more information please contact Alan Smith at


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