Number of UPMC Employees Affected by Identity Theft Grows

By Kris B. Mamula for Pittsburgh Business Times

The data spill affecting UPMC employees has grown, snaring 322 workers as of Wednesday, up from 22 employees two weeks ago, the health care system said Friday.

Fraudsters have used UPMC employee data to electronically file phony income tax returns in an identity theft scheme that UPMC said was common nationwide. In 2012, there were some 12.6 million victims of identity fraud, UPMC said.

UPMC has set up a payroll hotline to help staff work through the problems, and the hospital giant hired a tax firm to work with affected employees and offered to reimburse employees $400 for the advice.

A lawsuit was filed Feb. 27 in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, claiming that UPMC failed to disclose the data breach soon enough. In addition, UPMC failed to adequately protect employee information, according to Michael Kraemer, partner at the downtown firm of Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC, which filed the lawsuit.

“What did they take, and how many people did they take it from and where is it,” Kraemer said his clients want to know about their personal information. “All of them are really frightened.”

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