Medical identity theft is the deadliest form of identity theft—and I say this without hyperbole or exaggeration. When financial gain is the general motivation for stealing medical information, insurance cards, records, etc., the crime is a form of account takeover fraud. Medical identity theft—the real kind—occurs when the thief’s motivation is obtaining medical procedures or healthcare.
Insurance cards allow access to a hospital or doctor’s office. When requests for additional forms of identity are requested, the thief produces fake IDs. Often, the thief conspires with an employee at the facility who “sweethearts” the transaction so the thief can get medical services.
Insurance cards are just paper or plastic and can easily be counterfeited. Many are often lost or stolen, and simply possessing an insurance card allows a thief access. Hospitals rely on the honor system, believing patients are who they say they are—but people lie. And while most of the administrators are doing their jobs ethically, some lie too.
When a thief steals a medical ID to procure medical care, the thief’s medical condition and diagnosis are added to the victim’s medical record. Ouch. This may end up as a misdiagnosis, and the introduction of data that might conflict with the victim’s medical history or conditions. Such would-be contraindications as allergies, drugs the victim may be allergic to, and other health issues may not be considered. Finally, getting misinformation or fraud removed from a victim’s medical record can be extremely difficult and sometimes impossible.
To protect yourself from medical identity theft:
- Install a locking mailbox. This helps prevent mail from being stolen.
- Never carry insurance or medical cards on your person unless you have an actual appointment.
- Protect medical information documents in locking file cabinets or encrypted files. Shred all throwaway documents.
- Get identity theft protection. When a thief can’t steal your financial ID, your medical ID will be less attractive.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Medical Identity Theft Can be Deadly
If you feel like you are starting to get the flu, going to the doctor’s office can get you some medicine and get you on the road to recovery. But, there’s no pill or surgery that can protect you from medical identity theft—which can kill you. Literally. The thief who steals your identity doesn’t mean
- Medical Identity Theft Protection And Prevention
Identity theft can be fatal to the victim — if it’s of the medical kind. Medical ID theft can result in getting the wrong blood type during a transfusion, the wrong diagnosis or the wrong prescription — all because the thief’s medical history gets integrated with the victim’s. I hope you’re scared, because that’s my goal. Up
- The Scourge of Medical Identity Theft
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Medical identity theft can make you sick. As I once eloquently explained on CBS’s Early Show, if medical identity theft happens to you, “you’re screwed.” And it’s true. Medical identity theft occurs when the perpetrator uses your name and, in some cases, other aspects of your identity, such as insurance information, to obtain medical
- ID Theft Ring Gleaned Socials From Medical Records
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Medical identity theft occurs when the perpetrator uses your name and in some cases other aspects of your identity, such as insurance information, to obtain medical treatment or medication or to make false claims for treatment or medication. As a result, erroneous or fraudulent entries wind up on your medical records,
- The 6 Types of Identity Theft
#1 New Account Fraud Using another’s personal identifying information to obtain products and services using that person’s good credit standing. This fraud often requires use of the victim’s Social Security number. Opening new utility, cell phone and/or credit card accounts are the most prevalent forms of new account fraud. #2 Account Takeover Fraud Using another person’s account numbers,