Consumer Data Breach Alert: Talbert House | Console and Associates, PC – JDSupra – JD Supra

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Recently, Talbert House announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of thousands of clients, employees, partners and other third parties. On September 30, 2021, Talbert House issued data breach notification letters to more than 48,000 individuals, informing affected parties that their information may have been accessed by an unauthorized party. Data breaches such as this one significantly increases the risk of identity theft and other financial losses for anyone whose personal data was compromised. The Talbert House data breach is particularly concerning, due to the fact that the compromised information included the full names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and financial account information of the affected parties.

If Talbert House recently sent you a data breach notification letter, it means that some of your personal may have been accessed by an unauthorized third party. This doesn’t necessarily mean that whoever accessed your information will use it to steal your identity; however, that is a possibility you shouldn’t rule out. Often, hackers and other criminals do not immediately use the information they obtain, but sell it to the highest bidder. Thus, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself, even if you have not yet noticed any signs of identity theft or fraud.

Is Talbert House Financially Responsible for a Data Breach?

When you sought treatment for yourself or a loved one at Talbert House, you never thought it would end in your personal information ending up in the hands of a total stranger. Yet, that is exactly what appears to have happened. Companies like Talbert House are legally required to implement safeguards against hackers and cyberattacks, and while most companies take this responsibility seriously, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. When a company mishandles information, and it results in a data breach, the company may be held financially liable. While it is too early to tell if Talbert House took the precautions required under the law, our data breach lawyers are currently investigating whether there is a possible class action lawsuit against Talbert House based on the recent data breach. If you have questions about your ability to bring a Talbert House class action lawsuit, it is important you reach out to a data breach lawyer as soon as possible.

Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself in the Wake of the Talbert House Data Breach

Data breaches pose serious risks to consumers. While a data breach doesn’t necessarily mean that your information was accessed or obtained by someone with criminal intent, the risk of identity theft is there. If you received a letter from Talbert House informing you that you were among those whose information may have been compromised, taking precautionary action now may help you avoid more serious problems in the future. Data breach lawyers recommend victims of a data breach take the following steps to protect themselves:

  1. Read the entire Talbert House data breach letter to determine the extent of the compromised information;
  2. Keep a copy of the data breach notification letter your records;
  3. Sign up for the free credit monitoring service offered by Talbert House;
  4. Make a list of all online accounts and change your passwords (do not use the same password for multiple sites);
  5. Regularly review your credit card and bank account statements for any signs of fraud or other unauthorized activity;
  6. Carefully monitor your credit report for any sudden or unexpected changes;
  7. Reach out to one of the three credit bureaus and request they add a fraud alert to your account; and
  8. Notify all banks and credit card companies of the data breach.

About Talbert House

Talbert House operates several outpatient mental health and addiction recovery centers that provide treatment to youth and adults. Talbert House has several locations throughout Southwest Ohio, including in Hamilton, Brown, Clinton and Warren Counties. In 2020, Talbert House Talbert House provided face-to-face service to over 26,000 and served an additional 134,000 through prevention and hotline services. Talbert House is a for-profit company that generated over $64 million in revenue last year.

More Info About the Talbert House Consumer Data Breach

On September 30, 2021, Talbert House announced that the information of more than 48,882 clients, employees, partners and other third parties may have been accessed by an unauthorized party. In response, Talbert House took down their network an investigated the incident. It was discovered that the following information was accessed and obtained by a third party on June 10, 2021 and June 11, 2021:

  • First names,
  • Last names,
  • Full mailing addresses,
  • Social Security numbers,
  • Driver’s license numbers, and
  • Financial account information.

Below is a copy of the Talbert House data breach letter (the actual complete notice sent to consumers can be found here). Note that elements contained within “<<” and “>>” may have been specific to each customer.

Dear [Consumer],

Talbert House is committed to protecting the privacy and security of our clients’ information. We are writing to inform you about an incident that may have involved certain of your protected health information.

On June 11, 2021, Talbert House became aware of suspicious activity on our network. Upon discovering the suspicious activity, we immediately investigated and found that our network had been accessed by an unauthorized third-party. We briefly took the network down to limit the impact and stop the unauthorized access. We engaged an external cybersecurity firm to help secure the network and further enhance our security systems. Law enforcement was also notified. While the investigation is still ongoing, we have determined that the unauthorized third party accessed and acquired files containing information of clients, employees, partners, and some other third-parties. Those files included some of your protected health information, such as your first and last name, full mailing address, medical, and health insurance information.

To date, Talbert House has no indication that any of this information has been used inappropriately, and the company has not received any reports of identity theft associated with this incident. However, we value our relationship with you, and are offering you a complimentary one-year membership in Experian’s® IdentityWorksSM. This product helps detect possible misuse of your information and provides you with identity protection support focused on immediate identification and resolution of identity theft.

Below are some additional proactive steps you may consider to help protect your identity.

Remain vigilant – We encourage you to remain vigilant by reviewing your account statements and free credit reports.

If you discover errors or suspicious activity on your credit card account, you should immediately contact the credit card company and inform them that you have received this letter. Confirm the address they have on file for you is your current address, and that all charges on the account are legitimate.

To obtain an annual free copy of your credit reports, visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228. Review your credit reports carefully for inquiries from companies you did not contact, accounts you did not open or debts on your accounts that you do not recognize. Also make sure to verify the accuracy of your Social Security Number, address(es), complete name and employer(s) information. If information on a report is incorrect, notify the credit bureau directly using the telephone number on the report. Additional contact information for the major credit bureaus is as follows:

Equifax

P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374 1-866-349-5191 www.equifax.com

Experian

P.O. Box 9701 Allen, TX 75013 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com

TransUnion

P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016 1-800-916-8800 www.transunion.com

Consider placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file – Credit bureaus have tools you can use to protect your credit, including fraud alerts and security freezes.

A fraud alert is a cautionary flag, which is placed on your credit file to notify lenders and others that they should take special precautions to ensure your identity before extending credit. Although this may cause some short delay if you are the one applying for credit, it might protect against someone else obtaining credit in your name. Call any one of the three credit reporting agencies at the numbers below to place fraud alerts with all three of the agencies.

Equifax - 1-866-349-5191

Experian - 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion - 1-800-916-8800

A security freeze is a more dramatic step that will prevent lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit. With a security freeze in place, even you will need to take special steps when applying for credit. A security freeze may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, credit mortgages, employment, housing or other services. A security freeze will need to be obtained separately from each credit reporting agency. You must contact each credit agency separately to order a security freeze. You can obtain more information by visiting the credit bureaus at the following addresses.

Equifax – https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-freeze/

Experian – http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html

TransUnion – http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page

There is no fee to freeze or unfreeze your credit. In order to place a security freeze, you may be required to provide the credit-reporting agency with information that identifies you including your full name, Social Security Number, date of birth, and current and previous addresses.

You can obtain more information about fraud alerts, security freezes, and other options available to you by visiting or calling the Federal Trade Commission using the contact information below.

Federal Trade Commission

600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 (202) 326-2222 https://www.ftc.gov/

Report suspicious activity – If you believe you are the victim of fraud or identity theft, file a police report and get a copy of the report to submit to your creditors and others that may require proof of a crime to clear up your records. The report may also provide you with access to services that are free to identity theft victims.

Activate your complimentary credit monitoring – To help protect your identity, we are offering a complimentary one-year membership of Experian’s® IdentityWorksSM. This product provides you with superior identity detection and resolution of identity theft. To activate your membership and start monitoring your personal information please follow the steps below:

Ensure that you enroll by: <> (Your code will not work after this date.) Visit the Experian IdentityWorks website to enroll: https://www.experianidworks.com/3bcredit

Provide your activation code: <>

If you have questions about the product, need assistance with identity restoration or would like an alternative to enrolling in Experian IdentityWorks online, please contact Experian’s customer care team at 877.288.8057 by <>. Be prepared to provide engagement number <> as proof of eligibility for the identity restoration services by Experian.

Protecting the privacy of your personal information is important to us, and we regret any inconvenience this incident may cause you. To help prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future, Talbert House is continuing to take steps to enhance the security of our systems, including by reviewing our security protocols and processes, and enhancing employee training and education. Should you have any questions or concerns, please call 1-855-551-1488, Monday through Friday, between 9: 00 a.m. and 6: 30 p.m. EDT.

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