Quest Diagnostics announces data breach
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Quest Diagnostics, which handles medical testing for millions of people, announced yesterday that some of those patients may have had their personal information exposed.
The company said in a statement, that its billing collections servicer, American Medical Collection Agency, had an unauthorized user access its system, potentially exposing info such as financial data and the social security numbers of 11.9 million patients.
“Back in 2015, there were 13 million victims of identity theft," said identity theft attorney John Cole Gayle, Jr., "That’s a relatively high number, and that could easily be anyone in [your viewing] audience.”
Gayle, Jr. says in order to get ahead of any cyber thieves, you need to keep track of your credit activity.
“So many of us who have not been victims think this can’t happen to me,” he said.
But even if someone out there is already spending your money, it’s not the end of the world.
“Contact your credit reporting agency and tell them you want to put a fraud alert on your credit report," he said.
He recommends using identitytheft.gov, which was created by the Federal Trade Commission.
Second, he recommends you “try to block that debt. You go to the credit reporting agency, and block the fraudulent charge so that it’s not reported on your credit report." By blocking, your credit history is protected, even if you haven’t frozen your accounts.
Finally, Gayle, Jr. recommended getting the authorities involved, as “many of these companies require that you produce that to show that it’s not just your attempt to get around a debt, but that this is something serious. So serious, that you’re willing to go to the police.”
Quest went on to say that they’ve switched over to another billing service provider in the meantime as they continue to investigate the data security incident.
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