Not your Test Results? May be Medical Identity Theft…
First of all, did you know medical identity theft occurs quite often? In fact, it is growing more prevalent. Medical Identity theft is when someone steals personal information such as your name and Medicare number and then uses the information to get medical treatment, prescriptions, services or EVEN surgery? Who knew? If you get test results which are not yours chances are, this has occurred. Secondly and possibly most noteworthy, while we are not all geared to “think like a criminal,” here are some things you should know:
Look at your own medical records. Do they show:
- A different blood type
- An inaccurate history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Test results that are NOT yours
- A diagnosis, an illness, an allergy or condition you don’t have
Consequently, if you see any of the above, someone may be using your information to steal medical services, essentially stealing your medical identity.
Things to do to protect yourself:
- Protect your insurance cards as you would any important document, like your license or a credit card.
- Also, review your Medicare or health insurance summary notes, bills, claims or statements
- ONLY give personal information to Medicare- approved doctors or other trusted providers
- Beware of offers of “free” medical equipment, services or goods in exchange for information
- Shred any papers with your medical identity, social security number and take any labels off medication before you put in the trash
For more information, you can go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0171-medical-identity-theft.