Your Medical Identity is a Hot Commodity for Scammers
When we get medical care, we typically provide health insurance information. It’s something we expect, and it may not raise any red flags.
Unfortunately, scammers know this. And, with our health top of mind right now, they have no problem trying to take advantage. Their goal is to steal your medical identity — to fraudulently bill insurers or Medicare, or to sell it so others can get free care in your name.
How It Works
Someone asks for your Medicare or insurance number as part of a health care “survey” or offer of free medical products or services.
Scammers set up fake coronavirus testing sites in an attempt to get passersby to drive up and hand over health insurance or Medicare information.
Criminals “dumpster dive” or steal mail looking for health insurance or Medicare information.
What You Should Know
Medical identity theft can lead to huge financial losses and complications, including legal and medical costs, badly damaged credit, and aggressive medical debt collectors haranguing victims for years.
If someone uses your medical identity to get treatment, it could result in treatment delays, incorrect prescriptions and even misdiagnoses for you.
What You Should Do
Share your Medicare or health insurance information only with providers you know and trust — not with a stranger offering “free” medical care or equipment.
Carefully review Medicare or health insurance statements and bills and report unauthorized charges immediately.
Shred all paperwork related to your medical care before discarding it.