Metrocare Services – Notice to Our Community of a Recent Privacy Incident
January 17, 2020
Metrocare Services (“Metrocare”) values the confidentiality and privacy of the individuals we serve. As such, Metrocare issues this notice to its community of an incident that may have impacted certain information of some individuals served by Metrocare. While Metrocare currently has no indication of actual or attempted misuse of the information related to this incident, out of an abundance of caution, Metrocare is notifying those identified individuals whose information may be impacted by the incident and providing information related to Metrocare’s response and provide steps those individuals may feel appropriate to take to protect their information.
What Happened? Recently, we identified unusual activity in a Metrocare employee’s email account. Upon discovery, we took immediate steps to secure the account and, with the assistance of third-party computer forensics investigators, determine the nature and scope of the activity. On December 11, 2019, it was determined that unknown actor(s) had access to the employee’s email account and other documents accessible to the employee between November 19, 2019 and November 20, 2019. The investigation could not rule out whether specific information was accessed by the unknown actor(s); therefore, we undertook a comprehensive review of the impacted information to determine what personal and health information was present and to whom the information related. Although we have no evidence of actual or attempted misuse of information, we are providing notice of this incident because our investigation determined that personal information was present at the time of the unauthorized access.
What Information Was Involved? The personal information potentially impacted by this incident varied by individual but may have included first name and last name and one or more of the following: address, phone number, Social Security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, medical record number, health insurance information, and health information related to the services received at Metrocare.
What Are We Doing? Information privacy and security are among our highest priorities, and Metrocare has security measures in place to protect information in our care. Upon learning of this incident, we immediately took steps to secure the affected email account to prevent further use and access and scanned our network to ensure that no other unusual activity was present within our information systems. We reviewed our existing security policies and are evaluating additional security measures to implement within our security program to enhance the protection of Metrocare information. We also reported this incident to law enforcement and are notifying necessary state and federal regulators. As a precaution, we are notifying individuals whose information may have been impacted by this incident so that they may take any further steps they feel are appropriate to best protect their information.
What Can You Do? Metrocare has established a dedicated assistance line for individuals seeking additional information regarding this incident. Individuals may call 866-977-0755 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Central Time (excluding some U.S. national holidays). Below is additional information about what individuals can do to protect their information.
Monitor Your Accounts
Metrocare encourages potentially impacted individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud and to review account statements, credit reports, and explanation of benefits forms for suspicious activity. Under U.S. law, individuals with credit reports are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free, 1-877-322-8228.
Adults have the right to place a “security freeze” on their credit report, which will prohibit a consumer reporting agency from releasing information in the credit report without 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:
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
- Social Security number;
- Date of birth;
- If you have moved in the past five (5) years, provide the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
- Proof of current address, such as a current utility bill or telephone bill;
- A legible photocopy of a government-issued identification card (state driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.);
- If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft.
As an alternative to a security freeze, adults have the right to place an initial or extended “fraud alert” on a credit 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:
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, www.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.