Medical Identity Theft

Identity thieves are getting craftier about stealing personal information and how they are using it. Tonight the I team exposes the way they can steal your good name and stick you with a bill that could total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and has nothing to do with credit cards. CBS 3 Investigative reporter Jim Osman has more:
Pilot and business owner Joe Ryan thought it was a joke when he opened a letter from a collection agency saying he owed more than 40,000 dollars for a surgery that he never had.

They said I had an operation. I wouldn’t even talk to them. I said you wanna see my body. I said I have no scars.
Joe discovered he was a victim of medical identity theft – a sinister scam. What is it exactly?
When someone has taken your identity information such as your name, or your social security number and they use it to get medical treatment in your name.These impostors simply provide fake insurance information or none at all. Its extraordinary, you are looking at figures that can range upwards of one hundred thousand dollars. But your finances are only part of the problem. Medical ID thieves can alter you health records, putting you in life threatening situations.


Identity Theft

You can get a wrong blood type, you can get… you can have prescriptions on your record that you don’t take.
What happens if I drive home today and I get in a wreck and have a coma? They bring all those medical records up. And do you know am I allergic to penicillin? Is that the same blood type?
More hospitals are now recognizing the crime and establishing programs to prevent it.Any patient coming in the door, we are asked to get them to provide id to us – passport or a driver’s license.

Would you have your insurance cards and your driver’s license today on you?
Hospital administrator Mary Wailand thinks the safeguards are working. 2 or 3 times somebody will say I don’t have my Id on me, I left it in the car and never return.

How do you know, if you have been hit by medical id thief?
If you receive a bill or an insurance claim in your name for medical services you never received. Go to wherever that bill was…call them up and ask for them for a copy of your medical file. Change your records, go to the insurance company, go to every place where you think your medical file has been.

Well victims of financial identity theft have explicit legal rights to help clear their records. With medical id theft there are currently blanket whites allowing people to correct mistakes in their medical files. For the CBS 3 I team, Jim Osman, CBS 3 I Witness.



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