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What Is Medical Identity Theft - Warning Signs And Prevention
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What Is Medical Identity Theft - Warning Signs And Prevention

Today, I'm going to discuss a type of identity theft that you may not know much about. What is medical identity theft? That is when someone uses your personal information in order to obtain prescription drugs or health-care benefits that they might not otherwise be able to get under their own name.

These criminals have a variety of motives for why they might want to steal your medical identity, but it generally boils down to obtaining drugs or saving money. However, these things do happen and if you have any suspicion that you may have been a victim of medical identity theft, you really need to take action quickly.

Signs of Medical Identity Theft

If you're getting any bills for medical services that you did not actually receive yourself, then that is the number one sign that you may have become a victim. You may also see information on your credit report that you don't recognize, such as debts from medical billing companies. If anything seems unfamiliar, then you need to contact a credit agency, the police, as well as the Federal Trade Commission immediately.

Once you begin reporting the incident, you should write down every single thing you do because keeping track of proper records is extremely important. Send written letters to the credit agencies as well as all debt collectors that appear on your credit report which you believe you are not responsible for.These types of things may take quite a while to get resolved because medical billing companies are not exactly known for being the quickest in the world unfortunately.

You may also wish to place a fraud alert and a security freeze on your credit report to prevent further fraudulent activity from occurring in your name.

Ways to Prevent Medical Identity Theft

1. Never discuss your personal information over the phone unless you're absolutely certain you know who you're speaking with.

2. Always keep your medical records in a very safe place. Don't just leave them out on a table for your friends, neighbors, or family members to discover because you never know who might try to steal your identity for their own personal gain.

3. You may want to invest in a crosscut shredder to ensure that all of your financial and medical documents which you plan on throwing out are completely unreadable. There are a number of cases where people dig around in the trash to find information they can use for fraud.

4. Always use unique passwords on every website you visit. Using the same password everywhere will greatly increase your risk of identity theft or other types of financial fraud.

There's no way to prevent medical fraud 100% of the time, but you can take these precautions to help minimize your chances. You may also wish to sign up for an identity fraud protection service which can further protect your personal data.

Remember to call your local police as soon as possible if you suspect you have been a victim. They will do their best to track down the perpetrator and help get issues resolved for you. You will still need to do a lot of legwork on your own, but having the police on your side, and having a police report filed will make everything a lot simpler

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