What Is Medical Identity Theft
Many people are aware of thieves who obtain their information and steal their identity, credit card numbers, and even hack into their bank accounts. However, many people are unaware of the ever rising medical identity theft that has been plaguing honesty hard working families all across the world. In the year 2013 alone, millions of people fell victim to medical identity theft, unable to do anything about it until it was too late. However, keeping yourself informed is the best way to stop, spot, and prevent medical Identity theft from happening to you.
What is Medical Identity Theft?
Medical Identity theft happens when someone gains access your personal information without your knowledge or authorization such as your social security number, your name, and your Medicare or health insurance number and uses it to receive medical services. When a theft steals your medical identity they can receive medical care, obtain prescription drugs, submit fake bills to your insurance using your name, receive medical devices, and even receive medical reimbursements.
Effects of Medical Identity
If you happen to fall victim to medical Identity theft and do not catch it in time, there are several negative consequences that you will face because of it. Not only does medical identity theft line the pockets of unworthy thieves, it can also cause you to lose out on thousands of dollars do to financial repercussions enforced by your insurance provider. Even more so, medical Identity theft can ultimately destroy your credit making it virtually impossible to obtain a home, car, or student loan. However, the most important way that medical identity theft can affect your life is by having the wrong information put into your medical file. This can lead to life threatening consequences if they are not caught in time.
How Do Thieves Obtain Your Information?
There are many ways that thieves can obtain your medical information without your knowledge. A common way that thieves steal your information is by posing as a doctors office or medical personal over the phone. They will contact you and inform you that they need more information from you, leading you to unknowingly give your information to thieves instead of an actual doctor. Additionally, if you share your diagnosis or medical information on a social media site, these thieves can use this information to receive medical services or products through your insurance that would not raise any warning signs with your insurance because its a medical condition you actually suffer from.
How To Avoid Medical Identity Theft
There are many ways to prevent or spot medical identity theft before before drastically effects your life. To begin, always look closely at your explanation of benefits and insurance summary notice pamphlets that you receive to ensure that you have received true services that are listed on it. Everyone has the right to view their medical records to check for any errors or mistakes. If there is any incorrect information or you spot something suspicious be sure to request your medical records and report anything that doesn’t belong there. Even more so, never under any circumstances give your insurance or medical information out to anyone except your doctor’s. More over, do not share your medical problems, diagnosis, or information on social media sites.
What To Do If You Fall Victim Of Medical Identity Theft
If you happen to fall victim to medical identity theft it is important to address this issue immediately before it destroys various aspects of your life. First off, you will need to contact your local police department and make a report about the medical Identity theft. Get a copy of your credit reports, or better yet, sign up for a credit monitoring service plan so you know exactly what damage has already been done by the theft. Afterwards, you will need to contact the federal trade commission via their website or by calling their identity theft hotline. Furthermore, it is important to contact your insurance company, as well as your health care providers to inform then of the medical identity theft your currently going through and ask them to be on the look out for anything suspicious.