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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Computer file stolen in Oklahoma could put Spokane veterans at risk for identity theft

The staff at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center is working to determine the scope of what could be the potential release of records for 1,915 veterans, who could now become victims of identity theft.

On July 18 someone stole two USB drives containing the personal information for the veterans from a contract employee who was conducting a service call in Oklahoma City, VA spokesman Brett Bowers said in a news release.

The theft report was filed with the Oklahoma City Police Department. One of the USB drives was the master drive used by the contract employee to copy and move records from Mann-Grandstaff’s anesthesia-record keeper database.

“Although we cannot say for certain what information was stored on the stolen USB hard drive, we are alerting every veteran whose personal information resides on the” server, Bowers wrote. “We have determined the information at possible risk may include full names, social security numbers, addresses, phone contacts, surgical and insurance information.”

Bowers said administrators have developed a “new media sanitization policy” to prevent similar data breaches in the future.

Each veteran listed on the server will receive a letter and “where appropriate” an offer of credit monitoring for one year at no charge. Any veterans who have questions should write the Privacy Officer at Mann-Grandstaff, which is located at 4915 N. Assembly St.