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[ATG] AG Zoeller urges credit freeze in wake of data breach affecting 1.5 million Hoosiers
Start Date: 7/30/2015Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 7/30/2015
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is urging all Hoosiers to freeze their credit in the wake of the recent data breach at Fort Wayne-based Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) and its subsidiary NoMoreClipboard, which may have impacted an estimated 1.5 million Hoosiers and 3.9 million people nationwide. The two companies provide electronic medical record services to healthcare providers and individuals. Information that was breached includes social security numbers, lab results, medical conditions, health plan information and more.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office is investigating the breach and monitoring the situation to ensure that consumers are properly notified. MIE recently disclosed that 11 of its healthcare provider clients and 44 radiology centers were impacted in the breach. Those providers are located in cities across the state including Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Muncie, LaGrange and others. A list of affected providers can be found here: http://www.mieweb.com/notice/.

“We are faced with yet another massive data breach putting countless Hoosiers at risk of identity theft and fraud,” Zoeller said. “People cannot sit back and assume they won’t become a victim of these crimes which are costly, time consuming to fix and can have a long-term impact on your financial stability and credit. Everyone in Indiana should have a credit freeze in place to protect themselves from becoming a victim of identity theft and fraud.”

Protect against ID theft

Zoeller urges consumers who may have been impacted in this breach or any other breach to take the following immediate steps to guard against identity theft:

  • Sign up for a free credit freeze with each of the three credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Registering for a credit freeze will prevent a fraudster from taking out a line of credit in your name without your permission; and you can easily lift the credit freeze at any time if you do wish to apply for new credit or a loan.  The free credit freeze sign-up page can be found at www.IndianaConsumer.com/idtheft.
  • Closely monitor financial statements for any unusual activity.
  • Review and monitor your credit report to check for inaccuracies. A free credit report can be requested from each of the credit bureaus once a year through www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

Additionally, MIE has said it will offer affected consumers two years of credit monitoring and identity protection services at no cost. Credit monitoring alerts consumers to fraud after the fact, so it’s always best to also have the credit freeze in place to deter fraud, in addition to credit monitoring. Call the MIE hotline at (866) 328-1987 for more information about its credit monitoring.

If consumers already have credit monitoring in place from another breach, they might consider adding the MIE monitoring if it would provide a longer coverage period. Consumers should be aware when the free time period ends on their credit monitoring, especially if they would like to cancel, because they will likely be encouraged to purchase the service long-term.

Zoeller said the free credit freeze is the best protection against fraud and identity theft, though monitoring can be helpful in identifying fraud.

Everyone, regardless of if you believe your data has been compromised, can take the above steps to protect against ID theft.

Red flags of ID theft

Certain red flags can indicate that identity theft may have occurred, including:

  • Incorrect personal information on your credit report such as a social security number, address, name, initials or employers.
  • New accounts being opened in your name that you did not authorize or receiving credit cards that you did not apply for.
  • Missing bills. Often identity thieves will change your billing address to make their illicit activities look more legitimate.
  • Any unexplained debits to your accounts.
  • Being denied credit or only offered high interest rates on credit lines for reasons unknown to you.
  • Calls from debt collectors about purchases you did not make.

Report ID theft

If unusual activity is detected and you believe you are a victim of identity theft, follow the below steps:

  • Report fraud to the police and file a complaint with the AG’s Office at www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 800-382-5516.
  • Place fraud alerts on your credit reports by contacting one of the three credit agencies: TransUnion, Experian or Equifax.
  • File a petition in court asking the judge to issue a court order declaring you a victim of identity theft. That order can help clear up fraudulent activity.

Under Indiana’s Disclosure of Security Breach law, businesses with Indiana customers are required to inform customers and the AG’s Office about security breaches that have placed personal information in jeopardy. The AG’s Office investigates data breaches to determine if customers were properly notified of the breach and if the entity had appropriate safeguards in place to protect customers’ data.

The breach at Medical Informatics Engineering appears to be one of the largest breaches impacting Indiana consumers this year, and the AG’s investigation is ongoing. More information about the breach is posted on MIE’s website here: http://www.mieweb.com/notice/. MIE has said all impacted clients have been notified. 

In 2014, nearly 400 data breaches were reported to the Indiana Attorney General’s Office. In 2015 thus far, 279 data breaches have been reported. In 2015, about 730 complaints about identity theft have been reported to the AG’s Office, and 1,300 complaints were reported in 2014.

More identity theft protection tips and information on the AG’s Identity Theft Unit can be found at www.IndianaConsumer.com/idtheft
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