News & Resources

Medical center exposed to major identity theft scare

Feb 18, 2011 Brian Bradley

Medical centers and hospitals are vaults of enormous amounts of private, personal information. When an identity theft scam hits one, the end result could be extremely damaging. That is what the Charleston Area Medical Center is now dealing with, according to the Charleston Gazette. The paper reports that the records of more than 3,600 patients at the West Virginia hospital were violated, including Social Security numbers, patient records, names, birthdates, addresses and phone numbers. Personal information was accessed through a website created and hosted by a third party, exposing information over a six-month period. The Gazette reports that the office of the attorney handling the case has mailed out alerts to those believed to be affected. "Although we have not identified any instances of identity theft relating to this situation, we nevertheless recognize that this can be a concern for individuals whose data may have been subject to unauthorized access," Dale Witte, an official within CAMC marketing and public affairs, told WSAZ-TV. The sensitive site was eventually shut down in February, the Gazette details. During the exposed time, the site received 94 hits, according to hospital officials. CMAC has said it will provide up to $1 million in identity verification and theft protection.