UF sent letters to patients of the UF&Shands Family Medicine at Main practice that they may be the victims of identity theft. Patients at Shands Jacksonville Brentwood Primary Care Center also were affected.
A Gainesville man, 25-year-old Arthur Thomas, was arrested Tuesday, following an investigation that began in late October 2012. According to the investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service and the State Attorney's Office, Thomas accessed patient information. A UF media release says a state-wide ring was stealing information, including names, Social Security numbers, and medical record numbers.
Shands was not permitted to alert patients of the breach until the investigation was complete, according to the release. The State Attorney's Office said the investigation into the identity theft ring is ongoing and other arrests are pending.
Shands will be paying for identity monitoring services for patients who have been notified of the breach.
A website has been set up at http://privacy.ufl.edu/ to assist with information about the situation, and a toll-free number is also ready at 1-877-552-1299 to answer questions. This call center is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT, Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on Saturdays, until May 4, 2013.