Bloodworks Northwest (“Bloodworks”) is addressing a data privacy incident that involved personal information of some of its patients. To date, Bloodworks has no evidence of acquisition or misuse of the information, however, in an abundance of caution, notice of the incident is being provided to potentially affected individuals, as well as certain state and federal regulators.
On March 13, 2019, Bloodworks became aware that a document containing certain personal information of some of its patients had gone missing from an employee’s desk. The document contained certain patient information, including name, date of birth, and medical diagnosis. No Social Security numbers or financial account information was contained in the document. Bloodworks immediately took steps to investigate the incident and identify those patients who may have been impacted.
Bloodworks is in the process of properly notifying the affected individuals. A dedicated call line has been established for questions. Affected individuals have been provided with information regarding steps they can take to place a credit freeze or fraud alert on their credit file, and should regularly review their Explanation of Benefits statements and financial account statements for any suspicious activity. Individuals who discover unusual activity should promptly report their findings to their insurance company, healthcare provider, or financial institution. If you would like further information, please call toll-free, 1-800-363-3903, Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm PST.
Bloodworks takes information privacy and security matters extremely seriously and will remain vigilant in its efforts to safeguard and protect patient information, while taking any additional steps that may be necessary to mitigate and remediate this incident.
While we are unaware of any misuse of the personal information in the impacted email account, we encourage you to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review your account statements, and to monitor your credit reports for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228. You may also contact the three major credit bureaus directly to request a free copy of your credit report.
You have the right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in your credit report without your express authorization. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, or any other account involving the extension of credit. Pursuant to federal law, you cannot be charged to place or lift a security freeze on your credit report. Should you wish to place a security freeze, please contact the major consumer reporting agencies listed below:
PO Box 9554
Allen, TX 75013
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
PO Box 105788
Atlanta, GA 30348-5788
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
As an alternative to a security freeze, you have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on your file at no cost. An initial fraud alert is a 1-year alert that is placed on a consumer’s credit file. Upon seeing a fraud alert display on a consumer’s credit file, a business is required to take steps to verify the consumer’s identity before extending new credit. If you are a victim of identity theft, you are entitled to an extended fraud alert, which is a fraud alert lasting seven years. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, please contact any one of the agencies listed below:
P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
Although we have no reason to believe that your personal information has been used to file fraudulent tax returns, you can contact the IRS at irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection for helpful information and guidance on steps you can take to address a fraudulent tax return filed in your name and what to do if you become the victim of such fraud. You can also visit irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft for more information.
Although this matter did not impact any credit or debit card information, if you identify any fraudulent or suspicious charges on your credit or debit card, you should immediately contact your bank or financial institution. It is also a good practice to remain vigilant of unsolicited communications seeking your credit card or other financial information. Incidents of identity theft should also be reported to your local law enforcement.
You can further educate yourself regarding identity theft, fraud alerts, security freezes, and the steps you can take to protect yourself, by contacting the consumer reporting agencies, the Federal Trade Commission, or your state Attorney General.
The Federal Trade Commission can be reached at: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580, identitytheft.gov, 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The Federal Trade Commission also encourages those who discover that their information has been misused to file a complaint with them. You can obtain further information on how to file such a complaint by way of the contact information listed above. You have the right to file a police report if you ever experience identity theft or fraud. Please note that in order to file a report with law enforcement for identity theft, you will likely need to provide some proof that you have been a victim. Instances of known or suspected identity theft should also be reported to law enforcement and your state Attorney General. This notice has not been delayed by law enforcement.
For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001, 1-877-566-7226 or 1-919-716-6400, ncdoj.gov.
For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202, 1-888-743-0023, oag.state.md.us.
For New Mexico residents, you have rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as the right to be told if information in your credit file has been used against you, the right to know what is in your credit file, the right to ask for your credit score, and the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. Further, pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information; consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information; access to your file is limited; you must give your consent for credit reports to be provided to employers; you may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report; and you may seek damages from violator. You may have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act not summarized here. Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have specific additional rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We encourage you to review your rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act by visiting consumerfinance.gov, or by writing Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.
For Rhode Island Residents: The Rhode Island Attorney General can be reached at: 150 South Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, riag.ri.gov, 1-401-274-4400. Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to obtain any police report filed in regard to this incident.
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