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Medical Identity Theft 2020: How to Stop and Correct It
As an attorney for victims of identity theft, one common issue seen is medical identity identity theft. Instead of someone opening a fraud account, they are creating medical bills using your identity.
Consumer Protection Attorney and Advocate, Joseph McClelland, Esq.
What is medical identity theft?
Medical identity theft is when someone gets services at a medical facility or gets prescription drugs under your name.
How did someone commit medical identity theft against to me?
Identity theft is a serious topic. And the thieves that are doing the identity theft are using the same techniques that they use to open up false credit cards and bank accounts.
Instead, they are getting medical treatment under your name. Of course, they are not going to pay the deductible or the bill, so you may see this information for the first time on your credit report.
How did the thieves get the information to do this?
Nowadays so many companies have had their data breached, it's very common for people's information to end up on the dark web and for sale to the bad guys.
How do you protect yourself from medical identity theft?
There's not that much you can do to protect yourself from identity theft other than to use common sense. The exact same holes for medical identity theft. Course you want to make sure not to give out your social security number to anyone that you don't know. You also want to make sure that you're not taking care of any medical insurance information you have. You may want to start treating that as if it included your social security number, which often case has it does.
You also want to review any medical bills, records, or explanation of benefits that you get from your health insurance company. You definitely want to make sure that you were the one I'm taming those services in the first place.
You may also detects medical identity theft if you receive call from a debt collector saying that you owe a medical debt that you don't recognize.
How do you fix medical identity theft?
One of the first things you want to do is to get your medical records and bills so that you can just quickly review them to see if all of the treatments actually related to you. If you see a bill in there for service that you didn't get that would be something that you would want to look further into to make sure that you're not a victim of medical identity theft.
How do you correct errors medical identity theft on your credit report?
Nothing happens until you notify the credit reporting agencies. The first thing you want to do is to report the medical identity theft to Equifax, TransUnion, Experian, and Innovis. Those for credit reporting agencies need to be notified about this.
What should you provide the credit bureaus while reporting medical identity theft?
You will want to make sure to include the name and the account number of the medical bill that you think is the result of medical identity theft. You'll also want to tell the credit bureaus that you want them to remove it permanently. You also want to include some type of personal identification such as a driver's license or a current electric or water bill. You also will need to include one of these three things number one you may consider sending them a police report, however this is not always needed.
You may also want to send them an identity theft affidavit. Finally, you can, instead of sending them a police report or an identity theft affidavit, put the language on a normal dispute letter that all of the statements are under penalty of perjury and have it signed.
You can get the specific language from us or from the bottom of a typical identity theft affidavit.