The number of people affected by stolen medical records at Shorter University has risen to more than 30 people, following reports that criminals have used the acquired identity information to file fake tax returns. Among the information acquired were birth dates and Social Security numbers.
As reported by Northwest Georgia News, two full stacks of medical records were taken from the files at Shorter University in September. The records were reportedly those of students involved in athletic programs at the Rome, Georgia university.
Police investigation reveals that the door to the records room was not locked because it was misaligned and difficult to lock.
Police believe as many as 900 records could have been stolen, but as of yet only 30 people have reported cases of identity theft. The dead giveaway for those affected; someone else had filed fraudulent tax returns using the information from victims' stolen records.
Those affected individuals discovered the fraud either when they tried to file their own taxes but were notified that they already had filed, or when they received a letter in the mail notifying them that their return was being processed. According to the police investigators, filing fraudulent tax returns is one of the most common criminal uses of stolen identity information.