RI Blood Center scammed, sensitive information leaked

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Hundreds of Rhode Island Blood Center employees’ social security numbers and other sensitive information has been exposed, following an e-mail phishing scam.

"It’s something that happens all over the country, unfortunately all the time,” explained spokesman Eric St. Peter, “It could even strike a not-for-profit organization like us."

The e-mail was masked as an internal request for information, then tax information of all 393 employees from 2015 was sent to an unauthorized third party, according to St. Peter.

"Absolutely no medical records, absolutely no donor information was compromised," he said.

Jon Volatile with SecurityRI.com says this is becoming all too common as hackers get more sophisticated, masking their e-mail addresses as people you would trust. "If someone takes the bait, they take the bait, and there you go: you have your identity theft," he explained.

Volatile says awareness of these kinds of scams is key.

In the meantime, the Rhode Island Blood Center has hired a consulting firm and will be providing identity theft protection to every employee affected, according to St. Peter. “We’re going to protect our employees as much as we can," he told ABC6 News.

The State Police Computer Crimes Unit is investigating.

© WLNE-TV 2016