CHAPEL HILL – Personal information of more than 700 patients “may be at risk,” UNC Hospitals reported Wednesday as it investigates possible identity theft by an employee.

Warning letters have been sent to the patients, UNC Hospitals noted.

“On September 10, 2021, UNC Hospitals learned that one of its employees was using patient information for personal financial gain. The employee was responsible for handling payments from patients for services rendered by certain clinics of UNC Hospitals. The now former employee had access to patient demographic information including Social Security numbers, as well as copies of patient driver’s licenses and insurance cards,” the hospitals said.

“UNC Hospitals has confirmed that this former employee used some patients’ demographic and financial information to fraudulently obtain goods or services.”

UNC Hospitals Police Department has opened a criminal investigation, the hospital group added.

“[P]atients who receive a letter are directed to contact the UNC Hospitals Police Department at 984-974-0462 if they have questions or suspect they have been a victim of financial fraud,” UNC Hospitals added.

Read the full press release online.