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More ID theft victims from North Shore come forward
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 17:44:58 -0500

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=8965126&rss=rss-wabc-article-8965126

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New developments in a stunning identity theft case
at one of the area's largest hospitals, and why if you've been patient
in the North Shore/LIJ system, you might want to check your credit.

We first exposed the security breach last spring. Now, some patients
are suing over the theft of their information.

It's impossible to know how many people have had their identities
stolen from the hospital network. North Shore says it maybe a couple
of hundred but law enforcement sources tell us they believe the number
is much higher. The Criminal investigation is ongoing, but some
patients say the damage has been done.

"My whole life has been turned upside down. It took six months to
straighten up the IRS," identity theft victim Denise Abdale said.

We first met Denise Abdale last April, just after we aired a story on
a massive security breach in the North Shore Hospital/LIJ system.
Someone had used her name to file a fraudulent tax return.

"When I saw your report I said it had to be North Shore," she said.

Abdale, who had been in and out of the hospital several times, is just
one victim of a security breakdown that allowed confidential
information to be stolen in two separate breaches over several months.
The result for Charleen Solomon has been a credit nightmare.

The thieves racked up thousands of dollars in purchases. Solomon,
who'd been a patient at North Shore, only realized the connection when
she received a warning letter last March. Other patients, like
Paulette Schram, say they never received any notice from the hospital.

"For this to happen because you went into the hospital is obscene," Schram said.

After bills started coming in from Bloomingdale's and Macy's, Schramm
says she was contacted by a detective in New Jersey who asked if she'd
ever been a patient at North Shore. The thieves were working in
several states.

"They had created a license from the state of Georgia. I was
devastated," she said.

There have been some arrests, including a health aide from Brooklyn
who recently pleaded guilty to identity theft, but the criminal
investigation continues.

"Even if people are arrested, you're still going to have to worry for
the rest of your life," Schram said.

Attorney Bonita Zelman says it's clear North Shore hasn't notified all
potential victims, and she wants to do it as part of a class action.

Remember: you're entitled to a free credit report once a year from
each of the three credit reporting agencies. (TransUnion, Experian,
and Equifax)

Annualcreditreport.com is the ticket. Freecreditreport.com is NOT the
ticket. Its a pay service

You can find more answers to frequently asked questions
here:http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports
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