How does medical identity theft occur?

08/31/2021
A doctor in a hospital.

Share


What to look out for to make sure it doesn’t happen to you

See how thieves can steal your identity through scams and hacking related to the medical industry.

Medical products and services are essential in life—after all, no one’s invincible. Many of us enjoy access to certain medical benefits due to us as a matter of course. However, some people feel entitled to enjoy such benefits by claiming to be someone they’re not. This is called medical identity theft.

Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses identifying information or data other than their own to receive medical services or purchase medical products illegally. The private information identity thieves could use include your:

  • Name
  • Social Security number
  • Health insurance number
  • Medicare number
  • Other personally identifiable information

The medical benefits the perpetrator could be after include:

  • Seeing a doctor
  • Obtaining prescription drugs
  • Purchasing medical devices
  • Filing claims with the identity theft victim’s insurance provider
  • Fraudulently billing government programs for medical goods and services
  • Getting any other type of medical care 

Now that you know what medical identity theft is, let’s consider the various ways it can occur.

How medical identity theft occurs

Medical identity theft involves the use of your personally identifiable information. When thieves get hold of such information, they generally either use it themselves or sell it on the dark web for other thieves to take advantage of. 

So how do they access your personally identifiable information?

1. Loss of your personal information

One way thieves can come across your information is if you accidentally misplace any personal belongings that contain such personal information, like if your wallet is lost or stolen. If this happens, the perpetrators can then use any personal information you’ve stored in the missing item—such as your name, SSN, and even your health insurance card—against you.

2. Data breaches

Another way medical identity theft occurs is through data breaches. Medical and health insurance providers have become hackers’ favorite stomping ground in recent years. Compromising these organizations’ data security gives the hackers access to their customers’ personal information, which the criminals can use for their own malicious purposes.

3. Hacked devices

Tech-savvy thieves can also hack your devices. They can launch malware, giving them access to your computer and mobile phone, which almost always contain your personal details to some degree.

4. Phishing messages

Phishing calls, texts, and emails can show up on your device requesting your personal details. If you fall for it and provide the requested details, you’ve just given them the information they need to steal your medical identity. Never click a link from any source, even trusted contacts, unless you’re 100% sure where it leads to.

5. Fake websites

Criminals can obtain personal details via fake websites. They model dummy websites after the authentic ones to make it harder to catch the subterfuge, tricking unsuspecting web visitors into providing their details under the presumption that the site is legitimate.

6. Private data leaks by medical employees

The scary truth is that a disgruntled employee of the medical organization or health care insurance provider you trust could join forces with the perpetrators to commit medical identity theft. In this situation, the employee could simply take advantage of their unfettered access to customers’ personal details and hand them over to the perpetrators.

7. Loss of the organization’s hardware

If the medical organization’s computers or flash drives happen to fall into the wrong hands, whether through theft or plain inattention, the customers’ data will be available to whomever picks it up.

Clearly, there’s a number of ways you could fall victim to medical identity theft, which, as you can imagine, exposes you to a lot of risks. Identity thieves are increasingly relentless in their criminal acts both online and off. To better prepare and protect yourself, read our post discussing how to protect your privacy and identity online.

If you’ve been a victim of medical identity theft, don’t despair! We can help you. Contact us today.


Contact Us

+1 877-615-1725

info@consumerattorneys.com

Blog

Related Articles

07/05/2022


In the News: Changes by Credit Reporting Bureaus Could Wipe Your Medical Debt From Your Credit Report

In the News: Changes by Credit Reporting Bureaus Could Wipe Your Medical Debt From Your Credit Report

When the SSA enters an individual into its Death Master File, a special code called a deceased indicator is used to mark the consumer as dead. The indicator is then included in a consumer’s credit report, where it appears simply as “deceased.”

12/10/2021


How to Correct a Deceased Indicator on Your Credit Report

Each year in the United States, between 7,000 and 14,000 people are surprised to learn that they are deceased according to the Social Security Administration.

A wedding ring.

10/27/2021


There is an error on my credit report. How can Consumer Attorneys help?

Thanks to Consumer Attorneys, a client was able to recover from multiple credit report errors.

A pile of money.

10/15/2021


Credit reporting errors strike victims when they least expect it

Consumer Attorneys has helped countless victims of credit reporting inaccuracies and is here for you.

An error showing up on a mobile phone.

08/07/2021


What are credit reporting errors?

Your credit report can contain some mistakes

A frustrated man seeing that his credit report is affected by a mixed file error.

06/19/2021


What is a mixed file?

A mixed file can cause your credit score to plummet

A man looking at a chart on a tablet.

06/10/2021


What’s the difference between a FICO score and a credit score?

A FICO score can actually impact your credit score.

A thumbs up.

06/08/2021


What are considered good credit scores?

Credit scores have different rankings and meanings

A man that is upset about a credit reporting error.

05/28/2021


Real Stories About Credit Reporting Errors

Consumer Attorneys help clients sort out credit reporting issues

An image of a coronavirus.

05/24/2021


How has COVID-19 impacted credit reporting errors?

Amongst the many issues created by the pandemic, credit reporting mistakes are multiplying in the wake of new legislation and policy.

A picture of a clock, showing how long a dispute can take.

05/19/2021


How Long Credit Reporting Disputes Take

It may be quicker than you think with the right partner

A report with credit cards in front of it.

05/17/2021


What’s the difference between a credit score and a credit report?

You may use the terms "credit report" and "credit score" interchangeably, but they're very different.

Mixing or splitting a file is one of the most common errors made by credit bureaus, as well as one of the biggest headaches for consumers.

01/04/2022


Why Is Someone Else’s Information Listed on My Credit Report?

From renting an apartment to taking out personal or business loans, credit reports play an important role in the lives of consumers. They’re often a determining factor in whether a bank or other lender makes a decision in favor of the consumer.

The picture shows a sad man who looked at his credit report.

11/17/2021


Why the Credit Bureaus Confuse Information Between Consumers

The real problem with credit reports is the astounding number of errors!

02/01/2021


What Does “Mixed” Mean on a Credit Report?

Sometimes a consumer’s credit report can get dragged down by dead weight ... literally.

The picture shows a fraud thief who is trying to steal information. One's Social Security number, along with an address, is the most valuable piece of information identity thieves can get their hands on.

11/22/2021


Key Information Regarding Identity Theft

One's Social Security number, along with an address, is the most valuable piece of information identity thieves can get their hands on.

 image depicting symbols of identity theft

11/02/2021


What are the early indicators of identity theft?

Several telltale signs can give away the fact you've been a victim of identity theft early.

A police car.

10/22/2021


Why should you file a police report after identity theft?

Does it serve a purpose if you don’t know how to find the thief?

A home that's ready to be purchased.

10/13/2021


How to protect your identity during the homebuying process

Six ways to secure your identity when buying a home

A man stealing data.

08/10/2021


Distinguishing credit card fraud from identity theft

The two are not the same thing

A globe featuring the United States.

06/18/2021


The top 10 states with the most identity theft

Some states have more cases of identity theft than others

People dealing with identity theft.

05/28/2021


What is at risk when someone steals your identity?

The dangers of identity theft

A frustrated man who had his identity stolen.

05/26/2021


What is identity theft and how does it happen?

Identity theft is a criminal offense that damages victims’ finances and reputation

View all articles