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Shands Jacksonville alerts patients to identity theft danger

2:41 PM, Apr 3, 2013   |    comments
  • Daremia Crews
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- More than a thousand Shands Jacksonville patients may have had their personal information compromised by an individual working on an externship who had ties to an identity theft ring that targeted hospitals and clinics across the state.

Shands will be paying for identity monitoring services for 1,025 patients, who have been notified of the breach by letter, according to a release from Shands.

The person involved in the identity theft ring, 24-year-old Daremia Crews, who was arrested Jan. 23 according to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office records, was working at the Shands Jacksonville Brentwood Primary Care Center.

According to investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the State Attorney's Office, Crews accessed patient information -- such as names, Social Security numbers, medical record numbers -- to file fraudulent tax returns.

Crews had been released from the program when Shands HealthCare found out about their involvement in the ring in October. According to the release, Shands was not permitted to alert patients of the breach until the investigation was complete.

The State Attorney's Office said the investigation into the identity theft ring is ongoing and other arrests are pending.

First For You:

-Shands Jacksonville has arranged for those affected to have free identity monitoring for a year. However, it is still recommended to alert the three major credit bureaus and alert them that information was accessed improperly.

-Those who believe they may have been affected by the breach can contact Shands Jacksonville's toll-free support line at (877) 676-0383. The line will be open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until July 10.

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