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French health insurance data leak: what to do if you are affected

The 510,000 people whose information was stolen by hackers on March 17 should now be especially aware of potential scams

If you were affected by the health insurance data breach which affected at least 510,000 people in France two weeks ago, you should watch out for potential scams Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

On March 17, it was revealed that the accounts of 19 healthcare staff had been hacked, causing the details of at least 510,000 people to be stolen.
France’s Caisse nationale d’assurance maladie (Cnam) health insurance body, which has now made a formal complaint, explained that “unauthorised people” had connected to the “Amelipro accounts” of the healthcare workers whose “email addresses had been compromised.” 

Read more: Health insurance: Data of more than 500,000 people stolen in France

Data stolen from affected members of the public included names, surnames, date of birth, social security numbers, GP details, and levels of reimbursement. 

However, no contact details (such as telephone numbers or addresses) were stolen, nor were any bank details, nor information on health conditions or medication, states Cnam.

It began informing those concerned by email or letter on Thursday (March 24), although the operation is still ongoing this week.

What shall I do if I am affected? 

If your data has been stolen you should be especially vigilant towards potential scams, as the hackers have some of your personal information and so may be able to target you with seemingly legitimate messages or demands. 

If you receive an email, text or telephone call which seems suspicious to you, contact the organisation which the message purports to be from to check its veracity before sharing further details.

The theft of your social security number could enable someone to steal your identity. To protect your social security account you should therefore create a new password immediately. If you used the same password for various different organisations, you should change them too.

You can request further advice through the government platform dedicated to the victims of identity theft, which is called CyberMalveillance. Here, you will be able to find further information (in French) on avoiding and reporting scams. 

You may also lodge a formal complaint at your local police station or gendarmerie.

It may also be possible to launch legal proceedings against the public body which was responsible for storing your personal information, as long as you can demonstrate negligence or an error on their part. 

In view of the scale of this leak, the authorities may create an online form for people wishing to make a statement.

Related articles 

Complementary health insurance in France: what it is and how it works 

Carte Vitale scam: People in France warned over fake emails and texts 

New online health space: What it changes for residents in France

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