Former Highmark employee accused of hacking customer accounts, stealing thousands of dollars

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PITTSBURGH — The district attorney’s office said a former employee at Highmark hacked into several customers’ accounts, including a school district and stole thousands of dollars.

“You put your money in and it’s up to them to safeguard your money and when that doesn’t happen and you lose its detrimental,” said Lori Hickman.

Lori Hickman of Butler County is one of eight victims in Highmark’s major data breach.

Allegheny County District Attorney’s office charged Zakayah Scott who worked remotely from South Carolina for Highmark Health.

Authorities said Scott had access to customers’ personal information including birthdays, addresses and phone numbers.

They said she called Highmark’s customer service department, claiming to be one of the victims, change their password to their health savings account, log in, then withdrew and transferred money. The amount stolen totals more than $50,000

There’s a warrant out for Scott’s arrest as she faces several serious charges.

“Better that they were able to find all the information and charge her rather this continuing for a long time and you know more victims,” said Hickman.

Hickman said she got this letter from Highmark about the theft, stating the customer service department followed procedures and are working with its vendor to recover the funds.

“The money was gone I was looking I’m out high mark is not offering to replace the money,” said Hickman. “Highmark should be auditing these and this shouldn’t happen they are responsible for the money.”

According to the criminal complaint, Scott used the stolen money to buy things at Lululemon and the Apple store. Her coconspirators spent money at fast food restaurants and gas stations.

Highmark Health sent us a statement saying, “We are aware that a former employee, who resigned earlier this year, is facing a criminal complaint related to allegations of theft and fraud. We are thoroughly reviewing this ongoing investigation and have a number of systems in place to protect our members from fraudulent activity.”

Four of the eight victims work for Hershey. Hickman said she left Highmark and opened a new savings account with UPMC.

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