Notice of Data Breach – UPDATED JULY 12, 2019

What Happened

On or around January 18, 2019 (and discovered on January 23, 2019), the Center for Sight & Hearing was the victim of a security incident, whereby an unauthorized individual gained access to a Center for Sight & Hearing email account through the use of malware in order to commit a fraudulent wire fund transfer. By information received from an outside forensics firm on February 21, 2019, the Center for Sight & Hearing learned that certain personal information was contained in the email inbox.

There is no indication that the information has been acquired or used by the unauthorized individual. The Center for Sight & Hearing informed potentially impacted individuals on or around April 15, 2019

What Information Was Involved

Based on continued investigation, it is now determined that in addition to personal information including name, address and patient scheduling details (e.g. date/time/type of appointment), there were also a minority of instances in which certain individuals’ date of birth, Social Security number, bank account number, taxpayer ID, health insurance policy number, driver’s license number, and/or clinical diagnosis/condition was contained in the inbox and may have potentially been accessed. Again, there is no indication that this information was actually viewed, acquired or used by the unauthorized individual.

For Wisconsin residents, please provide a written request if you wish Center for Sight & Hearing to identify the exact personal information of yours that may have been accessed.

What We Are Doing

As a result of the breach, the Center for Sight & Hearing secured its internal system and hired an outside forensics firm to investigate the specific details of the incident. In order to secure its system, the Center for Sight & Hearing implemented a password management system and Multi-Factor Authentication, which requires a multi-digit code and password for log in. These changes to network infrastructure will prevent these types of breaches from occurring in the future.

What You Can Do

Please review the section below entitled “Steps You Can Take to Further Protect Your Information” for further information on steps you can take to protect your information.

For More Information

The Center for Sight & Hearing understands that this may pose an inconvenience to patients and sincerely apologizes and regrets that this situation has occurred. The Center for Sight & Hearing is committed to providing quality care, including protecting patient’s personal information. If you have any further questions or comments regarding the above, please call (877) 274-2764 for further information.

 

Sincerely,

Maureen Mall
President, Center for Sight & Hearing

 

Steps You Can Take to Further Protect Your Information

Review Your Account Statements and Notify Law Enforcement of Suspicious Activity

As a precautionary measure, we recommend that you remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and credit reports closely. If you detect any suspicious activity on an account, you should promptly notify the financial institution or company with which the account is maintained. You also should promptly report any fraudulent activity or any suspected incidence of identity theft to proper law enforcement authorities, your state attorney general, and/or the Federal Trade Commission.

To file a complaint with the FTC, go to www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338). Complaints filed with the FTC will be added to the FTC’s Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse, which is a database made available to law enforcement agencies.

Copy of Credit Report

You may obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months by visiting http://www.annualcreditreport.com, calling toll-free 877-322-8228, or by completing an Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348. You can print a copy of the request form at  https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/requestformfinal.pdf. Or you can elect to purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting one of the three national credit reporting agencies. Contact information for the three national credit reporting agencies for the purpose of requesting a copy of your credit report or for general inquiries is provided below:

 

Equifax

(800) 685-1111

www.equifax.com

P.O. Box 740241

Atlanta, GA 30374

 

Experian

(888) 397-3742

www.experian.com

535 Anton Blvd., Suite 100

Costa Mesa, CA 92626

 

TransUnion

(800) 916-8800

www.transunion.com

P.O. Box 6790

Fullerton, CA 92834

Fraud Alert

 You may consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report. An initial fraud alert is free and will stay on your credit file for at least 90 days. The alert informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report and requests that the creditor contact you prior to establishing any accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert on your credit report, contact any of the three credit reporting agencies identified above. Additional information is available at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.

Security Freeze

You may have the right to put a credit freeze, also known as a security freeze, on your credit file, so that no new credit can be opened in your name without the use of a PIN number that is issued to you when you initiate a freeze. A credit freeze is designed to prevent potential credit grantors from accessing your credit report without your consent. If you place a credit freeze, potential creditors and other third parties will not be able to get access to your credit report unless you temporarily lift the freeze. Therefore, using a credit freeze may delay your ability to obtain credit. In addition, you may incur fees to place, lift and/or remove a credit freeze. Credit freeze laws vary from state to state. The cost of placing, temporarily lifting, and removing a credit freeze also varies by state, generally $5 to $20 per action at each credit reporting company. Unlike a fraud alert, you must separately place a credit freeze on your credit file at each credit reporting company. Since the instructions for how to establish a credit freeze differ from state to state, please contact the three major credit reporting companies as specified below to find out more information:

 

Equifax: P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348, www.equifax.com

Experian: P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013, www.experian.com

TransUnion LLC: P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA, 19022-2000, freeze.transunion.com

 

You can obtain more information about fraud alerts and credit freezes by contacting the FTC or one of the national credit reporting agencies listed above. The contact information for the Federal Trade Commission is as follows:

Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
www.ftc.gov/idtheft
1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338)

Additional Free Resources on Identity Theft

You may wish to review the tips provided by the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid identity theft. For more information, please visit http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft or call 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338).

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