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Medical Identity Theft | Check If You’re Affected by Healthcare Cyberattacks

If you’re a fan of Friends, you may remember this episode: the girls switch identities so that Rachel can use Monica’s health insurance (which is illegal). Believe it or not, that’s how easily medical identity theft can happen.

Identity Theft Check

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Thieves only need some essential info such as your name, date of birth, social security number, contact info, other personally identifiable information (e.g. driver’s license), and personal health info (e.g. prescription history).

Medical identity theft can cause fatal consequences and severe financial loss. If you want to know whether you’re a victim of identity theft, how to recover, and how to protect yourself, read on.

What’s medical identity theft?

When someone steals or uses your personal information to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare and other health insurers without your authorization, this is medical identity theft.

It may result in worse consequences than you imagine:

  • Misdiagnosis or incorrect treatment — Doctors can misdiagnose or prescribe unnecessary treatments based on your medical information history because those records don’t belong to you at all.
  • Delays in medical care — Mess with your health insurance plan due to bad data needs time to solve, which makes the patient requesting urgent treatment suffer.
  • Run out of health benefits — You’ll find yourself inaccessible to your health benefits because criminals have already abused your Medicare.
  • Criminal charges — When someone stole your medicare, it means he/she got your critical information. They can also use it to commit crimes impersonating you.
  • Financial loss — You may need to pay the bills for the thief. What’s more, victims spent an average of $13,500 to resolve the problem according to a survey in 2015.

How to check if you’re a victim of medical ID theft?

A 2021 study suggested that there was an 84% increase in the number of data breaches against healthcare organizations from 2018 to 2021. And anyone who has access to your personal information may also have a chance to steal your details. Browse the following 3 methods to check if you’re a victim of medical identity theft.

Method 1 Data breach check with Aura

Aura is developed by a team composed of leaders with professional experience in identity, privacy, and security. It provides all-in-one protection including credit monitoring, identity protection, password manager, credit lock, antivirus, parental controls, and secure VPN. Here we can take advantage of its free scan tool to see if you’re involved in data breaches.

1. Go to Aura scan page.

2. Fill in your email address and click View Results.

3. It’ll scout information tied to this email has been exposed in data breaches or on the Dark Web.

4. You can immediately view your free report. Also, you can start its free trial to get identity protection and recovery plans.

Method 2 Check medical ID theft warning signs

  • Unexpected bills for medical services your didn’t receive
  • Calls from debt collectors about a medical debt you didn’t incur
  • Credit report including health care expenditures you don’t recognize
  • Benefits limit notification from health insurance provider
  • Medical record with unexpected entries
  • Someone asks in a call or email for your Medicare or insurance number

Method 3 Run a background check

Apart from signs on your medical record and credit report, you can also check your background report. Identity thieves may use your private details to signup a social media, apply for emails, or rent an apartment. Therefore, run a background check on yourself, and see if there’re weird public records.

Just enter your full name below and click Search Now.

Then you’ll get a detailed report from TruthFinder, which contains the following information:

  • Personal info
  • Contact info
  • Location history
  • Criminal & traffic record
  • Social accounts
  • Licenses
  • Financial status
  • Assets

If you find some records on the report strange or don’t belong to you, maybe there’s someone using your identity.

What to do after identity theft?

  • File a report at the Federal Trade Commission website or call 1-877-438-4338.
  • File a report at Medicare.gov by calling 1-800-633-4227, mailing, or visiting in person.
  • Request copies of your medical records from doctors and healthcare institutions. Review them and report errors to your healthcare provider.
  • Get a police report from your local law enforcement.
  • Review your credit reports for free from annualcreditreport.com and report billing errors to all three credit bureaus. Follow FTC’s What To Do Next section to correct your credit report.

How to protect yourself from medical ID theft?

Place a credit alert

You can place a free, one-year alert by contacting one of the 3 credit bureaus. After that, you’ll receive a letter from each of them, confirming they have set up an alert on your file.

In this way, a business must verify your identity before it issues new credit in your name. Therefore, you can protect yourself better and make it harder for others to open accounts in your name.

  • Experian: 888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 888-909-8872
  • Equifax: 800-685-1111

Use professional ID protection tools

If you don’t have the time and energy to set up all the stuff and keep alert on your identity usage, consider using professional identity protection tools. They not only monitor all your sensitive info, but also provide recovery plans and reimbursement for your loss. In addition, some of them offer generous free trials:

IdentityForce

#1 ID Theft Protection

Trial period: 30 days
A TransUnion Brand
Social Media Monitoring
Full-Featured Protection

Save 40% on ALL plans
Monthly cost: $23.99 $14.99
Annual plan monthly cost: $19.96 $12.49

Get Free Trial

Aura

Dark Web Monitoring

Trial period: 14 days
60-day money-back
Online and device security
Financial fraud protection

Free trial for ALL plans
Individual plan: $12/mo
Couple plan: $22/mo
Family plan: $37/mo

Get Free Trial

IdentityIQ

Total Security

Trial period: 7 days for $1
PII & data breach monitor
Anti-virus & secure VPN
Family Protection

Secure plan: $6.99/mo
Plus plan: $9.99/mo
Pro plan: $19.99/mo
Max plan: $29.99/mo

Get Trial

Medical appointment icons created by Darius Dan – Flaticon

By Yuki Huang

Yuki is a technical and content writer for Super Easy who enjoys investigating technological trends and sharing knowledge with others through writing. She writes tutorials, tips and guidelines about games, Windows, drivers and a vast array of other technical subjects. As a writer, she prides herself on making her posts practicable, valuable and understandable.Prior to joining us here at Super Easy, Yuki worked as a writer for SHEIN, a marketing specialist for an international ecommerce company, an educational consultant for a company that helps people study abroad, and an IT assistant for britishcouncil.org.Yuki’s hobbies include reading, movies, swimming, travel and the theater.

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