Health care provider employees victims of ID theft after data breach

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. - Dozens of local health care employees have fallen victim to identity theft after a massive data breach last year.

The Iredell County Sheriff's Office is investigating close to 80 different fraud reports from Piedmont Healthcare employees and people who applied for jobs at the health care provider.

Investigators said many workers discovered their Social Security numbers had been stolen when they tried to file their taxes this spring.

"It took me by surprise. It's happened to three people in our office and there's only nine employees," said Piedmont medical assistant Misty Honeycutt.

Last spring, Piedmont officials notified all 750 employees that the company's former website hosting company, E-Dreamz, had its servers breached by a hacker.

At the time, company officials estimated up to 10,000 people were at risk for having their information stolen.

But Channel 9 learned while all Piedmont employees were notified about the initial data breach, only a fraction of the workers knew about the rash of identity theft cases that emerged in the past few months.

Eyewitness News obtained an internal email dated March 12, 2014, sent from Piedmont CFO Greg Guin to email groups titled "PHYSICIANS" and "OFFICE MANAGERS." notifying them of the tax fraud issue.

Tuesday afternoon, Guin confirmed to Channel 9 he did not notify all 750 employees, but said he was working through the hierarchy of the company and expected any affected lower-level employees to address their superiors about the issue.