Identity theft occurs when someone intends to commit fraud or another crime using stolen identity. It happens when scammers use info such as your name, and social security number without your knowledge.
Medical identity fraud can have detrimental effects on your finances and even your health. There are several ways to prevent medical identity fraud. This includes maintaining the security of your information and fixing errors in your medical records. This article also includes some further tips.
What Is Medical Identity Fraud?
Medical identity theft is when scammers use your personally identifiable information (PII). They can use it to get medical services or make purchases of medical products. Medical identity theft can take the form of:
- Someone ordering prescription drugs or medical supplies using your PII. A PII is a collection of pertinent data that can be used to identify you by anyone. Your PII consists of your full name, birthdate, contact information, and Social Security Number (SSN). It also includes your driver’s license and medical information.
- Someone using your PII to have medical procedures, such as surgeries or tests, and sending the bill to you or your insurance company.
- A healthcare professional who submits false insurance claims by exploiting PII from customers.
- Physical theft of your information, such as your wallet containing your health insurance card or medical records. This can result in medical identity theft.
- Other ways that your medical identity could be stolen are; when making use of free Wi-Fi, data breaches, phishing, and viruses
What Can Someone Do With Your Medical Identity?
Your record is updated if someone steals your medical identity and uses it to receive medical care. Additionally, if you become a victim of medical identity theft, the fraudster may use your information in one of the following schemes:
- Purchase illegal narcotics using a phony identity
- A bill for fictitious medical care
- Making false claims to medical insurance
- Modify patient records
- Submit false financial claims
Prevention Guidelines for Medical Identity Fraud
You can avoid falling for these scams by being aware of the early indicators of medical identity theft. Doing your part to secure your and your business’s medical identity will go a long way. Use the following tips to help protect your medical identity and your business` medical identity.
1. Use an Identity Verification Solution
Identity verification software helps to verify a person’s identity. This is because it’s simple to create false identities online. Meeting compliance, privacy, and anti-fraud standards may also be required by law. Identity verification solutions help search digital footprints and confirm ID documents. They normally use biometric authentication systems.
2. Don’t Share Your Health Info
It’s wonderful when your health insurance is renewed, but you shouldn’t share any medical health-related info. Highly sensitive PII includes medical information such as your Medicare number. Also don’t share SSN, and health insurance cards.
No one else, not even your close relatives and friends, should know about them. Only your healthcare providers should know.
3. Be Alert to Phishing
Phishing is a technique for trying to get usernames, passwords, or medical data for illicit purposes. It involves using communications like email or messaging.
Be wary if someone calls you and asks for information about your health insurance. Scammers frequently know very little about you (e.g., they may know your name, address, and phone number but nothing more details).
Don’t disclose any critical information during the call, therefore. Tell them instead that you will visit their office in person to clarify matters. Additionally, be cautious while opening attachments because many of them may include malware.
4. Use Alerts
Many financial institutions will send you a text or email whenever a transaction is made on your accounts. Sign up to receive notifications about when and where your credit cards are used. Also, sign up for phone alerts on withdrawals from and deposits into your bank accounts.
5. Choose Strong Password
Create and save complicated, one-of-a-kind passwords for your accounts using a password manager. Keep passwords unique.
A hacker can easily find the names of your pet and your mother’s maiden name, so don’t rely on security questions to keep your accounts safe. Be careful what you post on social media to avoid disclosing important information or hints about answers to security questions.
6. Review Medical Statements
The majority of people don’t read their medical statements, which makes medical billing fraud successful. Check the services that your healthcare provider is providing you for after you receive statements like your explanation of benefits (EOB).
An EOB is a document from your health insurance company that lists the expenses it will pay for the medical care or goods you’ve received. When your provider claims the services you used, the EOB is generated.
Consider questions such as ‘have you asked for this service’, ‘are the service times and dates accurate’? Also, questions such as ‘are these prescriptions yours’, ‘did they charge you too much’?
If you see anything fishy about the statement, get in touch with your health insurance company or healthcare practitioner.
7. Monitor Credit Report
The simplest way to determine if someone is messing with your medical identity is to review your credit record. Your credit record will reflect any medical care that scammers obtain using your identity.
Therefore, report it to the police if you see someone running up unpaid medical bills in your name. Check out the account statements. Verify that you can identify every transaction. Know when bills are due and contact to inquire if you don’t receive them on time. To prevent health care fraud, review “explanation of benefits” statements to ensure you comprehend the services offered.
8. Protect Your Mobile Devices
Mobile devices pose a significant risk. Most mobile devices users do not lock their mobile devices, claims the Javelin survey. On your technological gadgets, use passwords. Instead of using a mobile browser for banking, use a banking app.
9. Use Digital Wallets
Use a digital wallet, which is an app that contains safe digital copies of your credit and debit cards while making online or in-person purchases. It can be used at a suitable checkout terminal or when shopping online. The tokenization and encryption of transactions make them more secure.
Many medical organizations are becoming concerned about medical identity fraud, which includes medical identity theft and impersonation. To sum up, anyone can become a victim of identity theft. Medical data is lucrative to scammers. It is important to protect your medical identity. This is because of the damage it does to your finances and medical records.