Offer of free ID theft protection to hacked hospital clients is legit – Beckley Register

Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:00 am

Offer of free ID theft protection to hacked hospital clients is legit

By Charles Owens FOR THE REGISTER-HERALD

Register Herald

A letter offering free identity theft protection to victims of a recent cyber attack on four West Virginia hospitals is legitimate, according to the Better Business Bureau of West Virginia.

The Better Business Bureau has received several calls from recipients of a letter from Kroll, an identity theft protection company offering ID theft protection services in response to the Community Health Systems data breach. Amanda Tietz, vice president of operations for the Better Business Bureau, confirmed that in a press release issued Monday

CHS is the parent company of Bluefield Regional Medical Center, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Ronceverte, Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill and Williamson Memorial Hospital.

Residents whose personal information, including Social Security numbers, was stolen in the cyber attack will receive a letter from Kroll informing them about the data breach and how to enroll in free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services being offered by CHS for one year.

While the letters from Kroll are legitimate, the Better Business Bureau has also received calls from consumers alleging they received a phone call from an unknown person offering to assist with ID theft protection in relation to the data breach. However, CHS has informed the Better Business Bureau that neither it nor Kroll is calling consumers, according to the press release.

The Better Business Bureau is cautioning consumers to never give personal information out to unknown callers on the phone.

The data that was stolen in the cyber attack includes patient names and addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and in some cases, telephone numbers and the names of employers and guarantors, according to the press release.

CHS does not believe that credit card information, or any medical or clinical information, was stolen. But the company is recommending that residents who were affected by the cyber attack to remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing their credit report and accounts for unauthorized activity.

An earlier statement released by Bluefield Regional Medical Center spokesman Becky Ritter indicated the company believes the cyber attack was committed by hackers in China. The incident remains under investigation by federal authorities. The earlier statement, and the letter from Kroll, said it is believed that the suspected hackers were looking for intellectual property.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the cyber attack may contact Kroll at 1-855-205-6951 toll-free Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:00 am.


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