Here's a look at the 8 things you need to know today...
Medical identity theft is a crime on the rise.
Nearly two and a half million cases were identified
in 2014 - an increase of 20 percent over the year
A stolen medical identity can ruin your finances,
compromise your medical treatment, and cause you legal
Consumer Reports tells us who's most at risk and how
to avoid becoming a victim.
Here's more in today's On Your Side.
Deborah Ford had a totally clean record.
But after a thief stole her purse and used her insurance
card to get prescription after prescription for opioid
drugs, a warrant was issued for her arrest.
At the time, I was like a 59-year-old lady, never
been arrested, and all of a sudden all these charges
Consumer Reports says medical identity theft can lead
to all kinds of problems.
If a thief gets your medical identity, he or she can
use it to get expensive surgeries, medical goods like
wheelchairs and cleaning up the bills and the charges
can take years and really negatively effect your credit
According to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance,
once your medical record gets mixed with a criminal's,
you can get the wrong diagnosis or the wrong treatment.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to ensure
you always have copies of your medical records.
That way, if a thief adulterates them, you can prove
they've been altered.
Also, check your medical records at least once a year
to make sure they are accurate.
Read each benefit notice from your insurance company
and call immediately if you see anything fishy.
And if you lose your health insurance card, ask for
a new ID number and a new card.
Deborah Ford finally got her name cleared, but it
took five years and 15-hundred dollars in legal fees.
Almost half of medical identity theft occurs when
a family member takes a relative's health insurance
card or other ID, or when people knowingly share their
information with someone they know.
Allowing a friend or relative to use your medical
insurance is fraud and is illegal.