Medical Identity Theft is when someone steals or uses your personal information to submit fraudulent claims to health insurers and providers without authorization.
This form of theft can disrupt your medical care. It can lead to overlaid medical records and medical errors, denied medical care and claims, and create increases in unknown medical bills and statements.
Signs of Medical Identity Theft
If you are being mailed information you are unfamiliar with; this could be a sign of medical identity theft. This paperwork can be a result of theft and medical care without authorization.
If you see that there is unusual activity on your medical bills or debts on your credit reports, it can be almost certain that you have been a victim of medical identity theft. Similarly, if unknown medical agencies contact you, this can also be a sign. This can result from a separate entity using your information in medical agencies. This allows the unknown hacker to place statements on your credit report.
If you are being denied health insurance for reasons you don’t recognize or have used up all of your medical benefits before a scheduled time, it can be a sign that someone else is on your medical tab using your benefits.
Ways Your Information Could’ve Been Compromised
There are many ways that information can be compromised. If you are disposing of your medical documents incorrectly, there can be a chance that someone will get a hold of your information. A safe way to dispose of medical documents is to blackout important information and shred the document.
Hackers are more prevalent in the cyber world. They can gain access to your personal information in numerous ways. If they can access your personal computer, they can extract medical information through many sources, such as a public network or a USB drive hijack attack. Similarly, if you were sending private medical information over the mail or communication apps, it can be found if not protected by a password.
Hackers can also get into a hospital or doctor’s office’s servers and access your private medical information, which they can share online. This information can be found on the Dark Web, allowing it to be sold. If you want to know if your information has been breached and is on the Dark Web, use Agency’s free Dark Web Scan to get a Dark Web Report.
What To Do If You Are a Victim
If you think you are a victim of medical identity theft, taking action as quickly as possible is essential.
- Federal Trade Commission
- US Department of Health and Human Services
- Social Security Administration
- Medical Insurance and Provider
These entities can further help and support any medical identity theft concerns.
Along with contacting those entities, you should request copies of your medical report, file a complaint with as many federal agencies as possible, and freeze your credit report. In doing so, you can stop the hacker temporarily as matters are being sorted out.
There are many steps you can take to protect yourself from medical identity theft:
- Keep medical information safe and confidential through passwords. Using a password can help protect all medical documents and folders from cybersecurity attacks.
- Encrypt your hard drive so that unauthorized people cannot access your data.
- Don’t send medical information over channels that are not secure. These include some social media apps and texting apps. Ensure you can rely on the track through which you share information.
- Destroy documents that you no longer need securely. As previously mentioned, more than shredding your documents is required. You need to blackout important information as well.
- Review information sent by medical providers and insurance companies carefully. Check for any changes in the paperwork or your medical records.
- Review credit reports to see if unfamiliar medical bills are being charged to your account.
Medical Identity Theft is a significant threat looming that can affect your personal healthcare services and benefits. The best way to monitor and detect this is by purchasing cybersecurity software.
Protect yourself from online threats with the best cybersecurity tools. Agency offers personalized cybersecurity services so that you do not have to worry about the threat of viruses. They offer 24/7 real-time monitoring and response, VPNs, Next-Gen Antivirus/EDR, and ID Theft Coverage that effectively works against cyber threats.