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December 30, 2018

Data Breach at Blue Cross Blue Shield Puts 15,000 at Risk

A potential data breach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan may have exposed the personal information of approximately 15,000 of its "Medicare Advantage" customers.  The potential data breach occurred when a laptop of an employee of a vendor contracted by a Blue Cross Blue Shield subsidiary was stolen.

The laptop theft potentially exposed the names, addresses, dates of birth, genders, medications, medical diagnoses and provider information of the Medicare Advantage customers.  Fortunately, Social Security numbers and financial account information were not on the stolen laptop.

Blue Cross officials also claimed that there has been no indication to date that the stolen information has been accessed by any unauthorized person.  Hopefully, it stays that way.

November 25, 2018

Alleged Credit Card Fraud Culprit on the Run in Hernando

The Hernando Police Department is searching for a man who allegedly committed credit card fraud.
According to Hernando Police, the man has scammed people out of more than $13,000.
He may be driving a newer model gray Dodge Journey.
If you recognize him, call the Hernando Police Department at (662) 429-9096.
And, if you are one of his victims and need legal representation or assistance correcting the damage caused by the credit card fraud, please contact the Kittell Law Firm at (662) 298-3456.  The Kittell Law Firm is located in Hernando, Mississippi and is the only law firm in Mississippi who specializes in representing victims of identity theft and other financial fraud.

July 08, 2018

Potential data breach by employee at Arkansas Children’s Hospital

A former employee of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas is under investigation for the potential misuse of patients’ private information.  The former employee accessed an unidentified number of patients’ personal identifiers while employed with the hospital.  The employee was employed from November 7, 2016 to February 6, 2018, at which time the employee was terminated.  Now, everyone whose accounts were accessed by the former employee are now at greater risk of identity theft.

According to the hospital, all patient accounts and by the terminated employee have been audited.  The hospital is in the process of alerting patients affected by the data breach and is also offering free credit monitoring to all affected patients.

Patients of Arkansas Children’s Hospital should monitor their credit reports for any suspicious activity, including the opening of new accounts that they did not authorize.  They should also watch their credit card statements and bank accounts for fraudulent charges.  Finally, since their health insurance information was possibly compromised, potentially affected patients should check their Explanation of Benefits for any fraudulent charges to their insurance for treatment not received by the patients.

Affected patients can also call the Arkansas Children’s Hospital at 855-880-9242.

Hospitals are a prime source of potential data breaches due to the treasure trove of cosnumers’ personal identifiers and financial information they are required to obtain to provide treatment.  Couple the amount of valuable personal information with high employee turnover and often lackluster data protection controls and you have a potential bonanza for those wanting to steal personal information for later identity theft.

April 15, 2018

West Virginia sues Equifax over 2017 massive data breach

This past Thursday, West Virginia became the second state to sue Equifax due to last year’s massive data breach at the consumer reporting giant.

Patrick Morrisey, the West Virginia Attorney General, filed the lawsuit against Equifax, alleging that Equifax failed to safeguard consumer information of hundreds of thousands of state residents and for delaying alerting the public to a breach that exposed the personal data of about 148 million people.

Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus in the United States and a frequent defendant in lawsuits filed by the Kittell Law Firm.  Last year, Equifax’s blunders allowed the largest data breach in the history of the world to occur, affecting roughly half the population of the United States, including approximately 730,000 West Virginians.

“Equifax’s failure to secure consumers’ personal information constitutes a shocking betrayal of public trust and an egregious violation of West Virginia consumer protection and data privacy laws,” Morrisey said in a statement.

Equifax is accused of failing to take action to secure its online dispute portal despite prior warnings of vulnerability within its framework and of failing to recognize that hackers had penetrated its system from May 2017 to July 2017.

West Virginia joins Massachusetts as the second state to sue Equifax over the 2017 data breach.  Maura Healey, the Massachusetts Attorney General, filed suit previously and recently beat back Equifax’s attempt to have the Massachusetts lawsuit dismissed.