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PATIENTS AT RISK OF RANSOM FROM HACKERS WITH STOLEN MEDICAL RECORDS

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Millions of stolen medical records are up for sale online and hackers are no longer just using that information for identity theft, they're now blackmailing patients for money.

This is happening worldwide and reports about similar incidents have been made in China and the U.K. after a California hospital paid a ransom earlier this year. 41 Action News uncovered at least 159 million patient records had been breached in the past.

"People I think just don't realize how at risk they are," said Kansas City attorney Maureen Brady. "Devastation, humiliation, embarrassment. [Patients] want to make it all go away. In an instant their life changes."

Here is a map showing all of the hospitals in Kansas and Missouri affected by breaches.

Brady's law firm McShane & Brady represents patients extorted by hackers or at risk of ransom because their personal files were stolen online.

"They go to the individual patients and say, 'Hey, I'm going to release your medical records to people you don't want them released to if you don't give me a certain amount of money,'" said Brady.

McShane & Brady expect more extortion victims because of more medical record thefts. The special, which aired on KMBC Monday Night, August 15th, can be found here.

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