Hundreds affected by ADPH data breach - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Hundreds affected by ADPH data breach

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Element source: MGN Online Element source: MGN Online
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

You may be the victim of a large tax return fraud scheme and not even know it.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and justice department informed the State Department of Public Health they were prosecuting a case involving the theft of personal information.

Alabama Department of Public Health Privacy Officer Samarria Dunson says a breach of this magnitude is unprecedented at ADPH. More than 500 people who visited one of the state's 65 county health departments have been affected.

Dunson also says there has never been this type of criminal disclosure of information from one of the department's databases.

Information stolen from the electronic health records database may have included clients' names, dates of birth and social security numbers.

"We believe now that it is possible they may have been former employees, but we are still participating in the investigation," Dunson said.

Officials say there is no evidence that additional information, such as diagnosis or other health information was disclosed.

"It would be particular records that were printed out by individuals," Dunson said.

Dunson says victims range in age, but most were young adults.

"They were born mostly in the year of 1996 which would make then 18 now. Unfortunately that seems to be a group of people that these type of criminals really go after maybe because they are not filing tax returns right now or really keeping up with their credit score," Dunson said.

Now the goal is to notify victims quickly. There is a heavy social media push to reach the young adults.

Officials say this scheme involved theft of information from ADPH, as well as several other entities, including Fort Benning in Georgia and the Alabama Department of Corrections.

Corrections officials say they are cooperating in the investigation.

Information on this case can be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office website.

The department of health says it has notified many of those who may be affected via letter.

Those who think they may have been a victim must complete a form and submit supporting documentation as proof.  The form and documentation need to be sent to the U.S. Attorney's Office on or before July 31, 2014, at the address provided and are asked to take the following steps:

  1. If you believe someone may have used your social security number fraudulently to file a tax return in your name, please notify the Internal Revenue Service immediately by calling the IRS at 800-908-4490. For more information on what to do if you are victim of stolen identity refund fraud, please go to the IRS's Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theftat the website: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft
  2. Report incidents of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at consumer.ftc.govor call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 877-438-4338 or TTY 866-653-4261. Be sure to call the hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.
  3. Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:

    Equifax – www.equifax.com,1-800-525-6285
    Experian – www.experian.com,1-888-397-3742
    TransUnion – www.transunion.com,1-800-680-7289

  4. Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. 

Copies of the form to document victim claims are available at the Department of Justice's website: http://www.justice.gov/usao/alm/programs/vwa/taxnotification.html. Supporting documentation must be attached to the form when submitted to the Department of Justice.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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