Medical Identity Theft- an impending crisis
When you share your common personal information (like your name, Social Security Number or Medicare number) you think you are safe from any threat? Think again!
Over the recent past years there has been a new addition to the variety of Identity theft cases. It is Medical Identity Theft. It is not an imaginary fable but an actual misfortune befallen on many. In recent times the cases of Medical Identity Theft is on the rise and in certain cases it can even prove to be life threatening!
What exactly is Medical Identity Theft
Medical Identity theft is the illegal access and fraudulent use of an individual’s Personally Identifiable Information such as Name, Social Security Number, Medicare number etc to obtain medical services, treatments or goods.
How does Medical Identity Get Stolen
Pirates on the digital domain seek to gather user’s personal data ranging from the very potent credit card numbers to the fairly harmless date of birth. Users don’t think twice while sharing common personal details with random strangers online but the fact is, these subtle personal details can prove to be very useful for the hackers and very damaging to you, personally and professionally. Apart from the common voluntary disclosure of personal information, there are multitudes of hackers who keep trying to break in the “secure” systems to steal such sensitive data.
Medical Identity Theft Cases in the Recent Past
The thief’s main goal is to obtain key pieces of personal information from any possible source that can allow him to impersonate the victim. There have been numerous cases where PII of millions of users were stolen from major medical service providers. The top 10 Data breaches alone accounted for about 111 million records that were stolen, lost or inappropriately disclosed. The stolen information can be used to get Credit Cards, obtain medical services, prescription drugs or expensive medical instruments.
How Medical Identity Theft can Impact Your Life
Medical Identity Theft can disrupt your life in ways you cannot comprehend. For starters it can generate huge bills in your name for medical services you never received, it can adversely affect your credit rating and your insurance cover. The fraudulent services showing up in your medical history can even prove to be life threatening in extreme cases if the bogus medication turns out to be allergic on you.
Victims may receive bills for services they did not receive. The bills are naturally exorbitant and you are unlikely to pay up, the arising dispute (which usually takes its time to settle) can have adverse impact on your credit ratings. It also deteriorates your present and future insurance claims and costs. Your stolen Personal Information can be misused for number of other unethical and/or illegal activities.
Take Precautions, with care
In the present day and age, when cost of medical services are sky-high, when it’s such a toll to seek medical help for oneself, imagine paying bills for someone you don’t even know! It can leave you with plethora of bills of unfathomable amounts in a name that is yours and hence the onus. Users must be vigilant and must go through their medical bills carefully to check any discrepancy or unallocated purchases. If something strange comes up, you should take necessary actions soon before something serious happens.