AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine General Medical Center announced Friday that additional patient information from last month's cyber atta
ck may have been compromised.
According to officials, letters to those impacted are being sent out Friday, explaining the stage of the investigation, and ways individuals can protect themselves – including access to free credit monitoring and identity restoration services MaineGeneral is offering to those receiving letters of notification.
MaineGeneral was notified by the FBI back in November the detection of certain MaineGeneral data on an external website that is not accessible by the general public.
MaineGeneral immediately launched an investigation to confirm the security of its systems and the source of the data and is currently working with the FBI and a top computer forensics firm to learn the source and extent of the data breach.
MaineGeneral has established a dedicated assistance line for anyone seeking additional information regarding this incident, as well as steps to better protect against identity theft.
This assistance line can be reached at 1-877-216-8137, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET. Please provide the following reference number when calling: 6362010416.
Fraud Prevention Tips
MaineGeneral encourages everyone to remain vigilant against identity theft by:
• Reviewing account statements, medical bills, and health insurance statements regularly for suspicious activity, to ensure that no one has submitted fraudulent medical claims using your name and address. Report all suspicious or fraudulent charges to your account and insurance providers. If you do not receive regular Explanation of Benefits statements, you can contact your health plan and request them to send such statements after receiving health care services.
• Contacting the IRS at: www.irs.gov to request a PIN to file your taxes, so that no one can use your information to submit a fraudulent tax return. The IRS will begin offering PINs in mid-January 2016.
• Ordering and monitoring your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law, everyone is entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order a free credit report, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. Individuals may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of their credit report:
• Placing a "fraud alert" on your credit file. A "fraud alert" will tell creditors to follow certain procedures to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. These additional steps also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the credit bureaus verify your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your files. You may use the contact information listed above to contact the major credit bureaus and place a "fraud alert" on your credit report.
• Placing a "security freeze" on your credit file. This prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from your credit report without your written authorization but may delay, interfere with or prevent the timely approval of any requests for new credit. If you have been a victim of identity theft and provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report, the credit reporting agency cannot charge to place, lift or remove a security freeze. In all other cases, a credit agency may charge you a fee to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze. Maine residents cannot be charged to place, lift or remove a security freeze. You must contact each of the credit reporting agencies separately to place a security freeze on your credit file:
Equifax Security Freeze Experian Security Freeze TransUnion LLC
P.O. Box 105788 P.O. Box 9554 P.O. Box 2000
Atlanta, GA 30348 Allen, TX 75013 Chester, PA 19022-2000
800-685-1111 888-397-3742 888-909-8872
800-349-9960 (NY Residents)
www.freeze.equifax.com www.experian.com freeze.transunion.com
• Educating yourself further on identity theft, fraud alerts and the steps one can take to protect against identity theft and fraud by contacting the Federal Trade Commission or your state Attorney General. The Maine Attorney General can be reached at: 6 State House Station, Augusta, ME, 04333, (207) 626-8800. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, www.ftc.gov/idtheft/, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Further information on how to file such a complaint can be gained by contacting any of the reporting credit agencies listed above.
• Reporting suspicious activity or incidents of identity theft and fraud to local law enforcement.