The public has become more armed against the threats of identity theft. While identity thieves can steal individuals’ money, ruin their good credit and cause years of aggravation and stress, an alternative form of identity theft, medical identity theft, can actually threaten lives.
Medical identity thieves steal and misuse other people’s personal information including their name and insurance card account numbers without the person’s consent and usually without their knowledge.
The Scary Truth about Medical Identity Theft
Your medical and insurance records follow you and when false information is added to your medical records, you can be at risk when you are treated in the future. Doctors may make decisions about your treatment and medications based on a fictitious medical history and this can put your health at risk. Not to mention that the insurance companies will have noted false “pre-existing conditions.”
As more and more medical communities rely on electronic records, the information is more likely to follow you on a larger scale and some believe this trend makes it easier more medical records to be compromised.
What can a thief do with your medical identity?
Medical identity thieves may use other people’s information to obtain medical care, prescription items or to make fraudulent medical claims.
A medical identity thief without insurance who wants a surgery or prescription drugs can use your information, get what they want and leave knowing you and your insurance company will get the bills.
Some medical identity thieves are motivated purely by money. Thieves can collect large amounts of money, even millions of dollars, by making these false medical claims.