Posted On March 24, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches
March 24, 2022 – Recently, Wheeling Health Right, Inc. announced that the company was the target of a ransomware attack and, as a result, the sensitive data of as many as 3,912 individuals was compromised, possibly including Social Security numbers and protected health information.
It is essential those who receive a data breach notification from Wheeling Health Right understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the Wheeling Health Right data breach. As a part of our investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Wheeling Health Right.
In 2021, there were 1,862 data breaches affecting more than 189,000,000 individuals. Victims of identity theft spend, on average, 200 hours and more than $1,300 recovering their identity. Many of these victims also suffer credit damage, emotional distress, and may even end up with a criminal record. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.
According to a notice posted on the company’s website, on January 18, 2022, Wheeling Health Right learned that it was the victim of a ransomware attack. In response, the company secured its network and launched an investigation into the incident to determine whether any consumer information was exposed.
While the compromised information varies by consumer, it may include your full name, postal address, email address, phone number, driver’s license number, medical record number, Social Security number, tax information, income information, and other health information about patients who applied for or received services from Wheeling Health Right.
On March 18, 2022, Wheeling Health Right began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.
Wheeling Health Right is a healthcare provider of last resort for individuals who fall under the federal government’s poverty guidelines but do not qualify for Medicaid, VA benefits, or other health insurance benefits. Wheeling Health Right provides medical care, nursing care and prescription drugs, as well as certain social services to its members. The company is based in Wheeling, West Virginia and generates annual revenue of more than $5 million.
When you allowed Wheeling Health Right access to your personal data, you trusted the company to keep your sensitive information safe. However, news of the Wheeling Health Right data breach raises some very serious questions about the company’s data security measures and whether the company could have done more to prevent this type of cyber-attack.
Regardless of the industry, all businesses have a legal obligation to protect consumer information in their possession. Although creating and maintaining a data security system is costly, this is a necessary expense given the frequency with which cyberattacks occur.
Consumers whose personal, identifying, financial or healthcare-related data was compromised in a data breach can pursue legal action against a company that misused or mishandled their information. However, the investigation into the Wheeling Health Right breach is only in its beginning phases. For that reason, it is too early to tell if Wheeling Health Right was legally responsible for the breach. However, our data breach attorneys are investigating the Wheeling Health Right security breach to determine the potential legal remedies of those affected.
If you have questions about your ability to pursue a data breach class action lawsuit against Wheeling Health Right, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
If you receive a data breach notification from Wheeling Health Right in the coming weeks, it means your personal data was among that which was compromised in the recent cyberattack. It also means a cybercriminal may have had access to—and may have stolen—your personal data. Given the risks involved, it is important you remain vigilant by taking the following steps:
Figure Out What Information Was Stolen: Carefully review the data breach letter sent by Wheeling Health Right, keeping in mind the information you provided to the company as well as the type of data that was compromised in the breach. You should also take a copy of the data breach letter and keep it for your records. Of course, data breach letters are not always easy to understand. A consumer privacy lawyer can help victims of a data breach understand what was compromised and how to protect themselves.
Prevent the Hacker from Accessing Your Accounts: Once you determine the scope of the breach and how it affected you, you should take all steps to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your credit or financial accounts. For example, you should change all passwords and security questions for your online accounts. You should also consider setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.
Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: In the wake of a data breach, companies usually provide free credit monitoring services for a specified period of time. This is not a gimmick, and you do not give up any rights by taking a company up on their offer. Additionally, you should contact one of the three main credit bureaus to request a copy of your credit report. Even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity, it is a good idea to request a fraud alert. Fraud alerts are free and serve as a red flag to potential lenders and creditors that your information was compromised.
Consider a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents access to your credit report unless you specifically authorize it. Credit freezes are free and last until you remove them. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may initially seem like a drastic measure, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), doing so is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, ITRC reports that just 3% of consumers whose information is leaked place a freeze on their accounts. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit.
Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach is not a one-time task. You should continually monitor your credit report and all financial accounts, keeping an eye out for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You may also consider calling your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.
At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the Wheeling Health Right data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.