sorry OT, but I'm freaking out a bit

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AuntTammie, May 3, 2010.

  1. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    just found out that all my identifying info & medical info (from hospital ER records) was stolen (along with similar info for many other people)....and they waited TWO months to tell kinda freaking out rt now

    [This Message was Edited on 05/03/2010]
  2. butterflydream

    butterflydream New Member

    did the Hospital ER supervisor/administrator call you ?
    Were these computerized records or File written ER records ?

    hopefully you have copies of all your ER records. If not, maybe your primary doctor has ER records in his/her files.

    But it sounds as if this is your identity stolen also.
    Has the ER hospital administrator advise you as to what you need to do?

    this is horrible thing to happen. I'm speechless. What explaination did they have for this to happen ?
  3. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I received a letter in the mail saying that a portable computer hard drive with all the records for ER visits between 2003 and 2006 (and for me that was a bunch) were stolen......the company that had them is basically doing nothing whatsoever to compensate people if there turn out to be any financial losses as a result....they just said (in so many words) "oops, guess our security wasn't good enough, we will be beefing that up in the future"

    I do probably have copies of my records somewhere, but in '04 I was in a bad car accident that wound up with a whole bunch of hospital and other doctor visits (and triggered my ME/CFS and FM).....that led to a lawsuit bc the person who caused the accident had insurance that was not going to pay.....between that, the sheer amount of records, and the fact that my organizational skills went out the door with the accident, ME, etc....and the fact that I was extremely confused for months after the accident (head injury), I don't really know where all the records are rt now.....oh and I also had to send them in for disability applications, so that was another chance for them to get misplaced, or for some to not get copied, etc

    mostly I am not that worried about those records, though, unless the next time disability review comes up, it presents a problem

    what I am worried about is the financial possible issues bc they did totally have access to all identifying info (SS#, birth date, account #'s, insurance info, medicare/medicaid info, etc)....not that I have much of anything to steal, but I desperately need everything I have (already spending 90% of my income on rent and electric)....and despite that, I still get pre-approved credit card apps in the mail all the time - I would never send one in bc no way can I afford that kind of debt, but if I am getting them pre-approved, it means that if someone were to use my info to apply, they could get credit in my name that I would be responsible for)

    and I am also freaking out that they could somehow do something with my medicare/ medicaid info and/or somehow mess with my SSDI

    all they advised on the letter to do is to contact a credit reporting place and get them to put a fraud alert and/or block the account, and to keep checking my credit report......I did put the block on my info but it cost me to do so, and it has already been two months since this happened so the people/person who stole the info could have already done a ton of damage by now - that's part of why I am so upset - why they took more than two months to tell people, I have no idea

    my online credit report is only a summary, so I do not understand it at all, but it does not look accurate - I should be getting a more specific one thru the mail, though
  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Here's something mind-boggling that a friend just sent me before I read your post, about copiers! - turns out they have hard drives too, and few even know about it!
    Watch this:

    this is horrible what has happened to you.... you should not have to pay for ay of this. I am betting there will be some kind of class action lawsuit from the fallout from this. You might want to check locally or online to see if there is, now and in the future. They have no excuse for this to happen and I cannot believe they're not liable for any losses. At the very least the hospital &/or the company should pay for the credit checks.

    I also don't see how you can be liable either since you can prove identity theft? Maybe there's a free legal clinic in your area you could consult at least. This is so unfair.

    Hope things work out ok...
    all the best,

    I'm surprised you have to pay for that tho. I lived in Georgia and had my mail stolen, state laws permitted free reports from all 3 companies at least 1X, possibly more per year but cannot remember now.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/03/2010]
  5. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    thanks for your response....and I had no idea about the copiers.....that's really pretty scary, too

    I just counted and I had at least 9 ER visits during that time frame, although one was out of state.....might have had more, though - can't remember the exact timing of one or two

    actually that count is kind of blowing my mind, too.....a "fun" series of things happened - a wave runner accident on vacation a yr before I got ME; a crazy woman attacked me thru my car window and hurt my elbow; had a car accident; got heat stroke & dehydration; had severe kidney pain related to the heat stroke; had more heat issues (not heat stroke the second time; though); fell & broke a bunch of bones; passed out at the fitness center; and had the cops kick my door in (long story, weird situation, related to depression, but some major miscommunication led to the door incident)
  6. kat211

    kat211 New Member


    You need to call all 3 major reporting agencies directly (equifax, transunion, and experian I think), tell them what happened, and get a fraud alert put on your reports. You should not be charged for this if you go through the agencies themselves.

    I had to do this a while back. Unfortunately I didn't find out about the fraud until years later and I am now being sued for the debt and go to court next month over it. Now I can't even talk to my creditors w/o answering a string of questions only I would know the answers to. It has given me a little piece of mind.

    This is a very stressful event to have to deal with, and it isn't like you need it. Please take care of yourself and try to remain calm.

  7. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    I'm so sorry this has happened to you!!!

    Regarding your credit report. You can get your free report from each bureau on line. It should be details on line. You can also put a freeze on your report for no charge. You could have a Pin number on all except for Transunion that you would have to provide to anyone that you would want to have pull your credit in the future. (A freeze would still be in place)

    To review and read your report, all you have to do is see if you have any new accounts that you personally did not open. They will be easily recognizable and be in the beginning of your report under "open accounts" and have an opening date. It would be in the last couple of months if it happened recently. Hopefully nothing has happened.

    Save the letter you received from the hospital as proof that your records were stolen and personal information has been compromised.

    It makes us all realize that nothing is really safe. Things can always be accessed - it's just a matter of whether they can be lost.

    Again, I'm so sorry this has happened - the stress can't be good for you!

  8. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    they didn't take the computer - just the hard drive, so they were just after the records.......the likely motive would be financial - it's possible to apply for any type of credit with the identifying info

    however, since medical records are stringently protected, I would think they might be able to use those to do some damage, too

    and I am wondering if they could use my medicare and medicaid info to commit fraud of some sort
  9. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    so sorry that you are dealing with something similar and having to go to court and everything - I hope that it works out ok for you.....that is really rotten {{{{{hugs}}}}
  10. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    thanks for your response, too....I appreciate the info

  11. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    I read somewhere that medical offices are a common target of identity theft. They have a lot of personally identifying information and their computer security is often not very good.

    Just because someone asks your for information does not mean you have to give it to them. Think about what items you really need to fill out on those forms you get from health care practitioners. For instance, age is O.K., but not birth date.
  12. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Geese Louise, how awful. I would think the hospital has to be responsible if problems occurred because of a lack of documentation. I used to be great about documenting but it is hard when you are dealing with all of this stuff from our DD. I will make a better effort at doing this.

    If you have to pay for any credit reports, the hospital should pay for that but good luck trying.

    It's their bad, not yours.

    Keep us updated.


    Kat sorry to see you had togo thru this. Janalyn, thanks for the information. I did not realize you can put a freeze on the credit reports.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/05/2010]
  13. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    good to know; however, this was not a medical office, or even the actual ER - it was a place that is responsible for the safekeeping of the records that the ERs have (a completely separate location/business)......and when in the ER, you DO have to give identifying info and insurance info, so there is nothing I could have done that would have offered any protection in this case

  14. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean re lack of documentation. In this case, the problem is with too much documentation getting out, and it was not the actual ER that screwed up - it is a separate business that was responsible for safekeeping those records.

    (side note, I would imagine that you were quite good at documenting just based on what and how you write on here.....though this DD effects our minds far too much, your intelligence and inquisitive mind, attention to proof and details, etc still come thru)

    and I agree that the place responsible for this should have to pay, but so far they are refusing to do anything