Valpo ambulance users could have had personal information stolen
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 27, 2013 12:34PM
Updated: September 29, 2013 6:42AM
VALPARAISO — Up to 860 people who used the city’s ambulance service in early 2012 may have had their personal information stolen.
That includes Social Security numbers and birthdates, although so far there’s no evidence that anyone who used Valparaiso’s service was affected.
An employee for the billing company that Valparaiso uses for the ambulance service — Advanced Data Processing Inc. — had used some people’s information to file false income tax returns, using a post office box to collect refund checks, City Attorney Ethan Lowe said.
Lowe said that those who could be affected used Valparaiso’s ambulance service between Jan. 1 and June 21 in 2012, and the city is alerting everyone by mail, by media and by putting a notice on its website.
“They potentially could be (affected), and that’s why we’re going through the steps we are,” Lowe said.
Those who want to assure the safety of their information can contact www.myidcare.com/intersecurity or call them at (877) 264-9622.
The city is also telling people they should check their credit scores and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission.
The IRS and FBI are involved and contacted the city about the incident, Lowe said.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Middle Florida, Ieshia Jordan, 27, of Tampa, Fla., pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of health information and faced a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy charge and up to 10 years in prison on the wrongful disclosure of health information charge.
Lisa Jardim of ADPI said it appears Jordan only attempted tax fraud with the information, trying to take advantage of the IRS practice of automatically processing returns on income less than $10,000.
Jordan worked as a billing specialist for the company.
Jardim said the company found out about the matter in October 2012, a month after federal agents tracked the information to Jordan.
“It wasn’t until recently that ADPI was informed by the Internal Revenue Service that certain patient records connected with Valparaiso Fire Department may have been improperly accessed,” Jardim said.
The company is unsure what occupation the former employee put down for the victims, but they were not listed as employees of ADPI.
“We have very limited information we received from law enforcement,” Jardim said.
She said the woman was arrested in October 2012 and has since pleaded guilty.
Those who the ambulance service transported should receive letters about the matter by Wednesday, Jardim said.