Shands Patients Information Compromised
Published April 3rd, 2013
Thousands of North Central Florida residents are learning that their identitiies have been stolen.
A former employee who worked at a University of Florida and Shands Medical Clinic is the suspect.
Investigators discovered the man had ties to an identity theft ring.
A federal and statewide investigation revealed the employee acquired patient insurance information, including names addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers.
"It's really scary," said Artie McMillan.
After more than 20 years of visiting this clinic, Artie McMillan said she can't believe that her identity may have been stolen.
"I never thought nothing like this would happen at this clinic," said McMillan.
Former employee of the clinic, 25- year -old Arthur Corey Thomas Jr. allegedly obtained patients information during his time of employment.
Melissa Blouin with UF and Shands said how the university found out about the scam.
"We were notified by federal officials that they were investigating an identity theft ring and it was possible an employee at UF Family Medicine at Main was involved," said Blouin who is the Director of News and Publication for UF and Shands Communications.
In October 2012 investigators learned thomas was in Jacksonville selling the identities of Shands hospital patients.
Thomas was caught with about 1600 personal identities including names, dates of birth and social security numbers.
The majority of the the identities were on what appeared to be a computer generated appointment information sheet.
"We don't know exactly what the potential is for their information to have been compromised, but we are taking precautions to make sure that those people are being notified," said Blouin.
Now UF is sending letters to more than 14,000 patients who visited the clinic between March 2009 and October 2012.
"Patients can check the Federal Trade Commissions website for information about monitoring credit reports and identity theft," said Blouin.
UF is offering fraud resolution services for those who suspect or confirm identity theft associated with this incident.
In the meantime, patients like McMillan are still wondering if someone out there is taking advantage of their identity.
"I hope that they prevent this from happening again," said McMillan.
UF has been unable to locate current addresses for about 450 patients.
If you don't receive a letter and you visited the clinic during March 2009 and October 2012.
Contact the UF call center at 877-552-1299.
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