They’re victims of identity theft, but who’s to blame?

One of the frustrations identity theft victims experience is that they often have no idea how their identity information was compromised. Some of this site’s readers may have figured it out for themselves in looking into breach notification letters they got from CICS, but for all too many people, there are no answers. Consider some folks at some Oklahoma colleges and universities who became victims of identity theft and have no idea if was related to the Anthem breach or the rash of tax refund fraud using e-filing sites. The Shawnee News-Star reports:

“The headlines in the last few weeks have focused on security breaches of Turbo Tax and Anthem. Anthem is the parent company of Blue Cross, Blue Shield,” he said. “Both of these groups of course deny this breach had anything to do with their companies.”

He pointed out, though, “There are very few places, however, where someone can get information on entire families including Social Security numbers and dates of birth. That makes this different than other well-known national breaches like Chase, Target and Home Depot.

“They can’t get that kind of information from those sources. We’re trying to do everything we can to work with our employees to help them deal with this security breach,” he added.

Can you imagine what might happen if they were to try to sue Anthem? How can they demonstrate that their injuries are related to that breach and not what might be an unrelated breach or breaches associated with the rash of tax refund fraud recently noted?

While it’s always the case that it is difficult to prove that any injuries are from one particular (known) breach, I think the fact that we appear to have at least two major breaches being disclosed at around the same time will only complicate things for potential plaintiffs.

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