The growing problem of medical identity theft and the havoc it wreaks with its victims is highlighted in a recent Bloomberg article. Medical identity theft victims are usually reticent to share the details of the crime since the theft is felt as such a personal violation. Details of the theft are shared here, as well as ID Experts’ investigative and restoration efforts on the victim’s behalf, including the challenges to unraveling the tangled web of medical identity theft.
“Arnold Salinas knows a lot about the person who stole his identity.
He’s 5-foot-9, 190 pounds. He pays for pizzas with forged checks, defaulted on a $17,000 car loan and has traveled the country, racking up speeding tickets and thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, according to Salinas and a firm he’s hired to clean up the mess.
But the worst part is: The imposter is sick.
Salinas, a 53-year-old maintenance worker, is fighting the nastiest form of identity theft – someone has taken out medical care in his name. Among the strange bills that have arrived at his Fresno, California, home over the past decade are debt-collection notices for extensive radiology and other treatments at four hospitals in Kansas and Texas.
“I have to be super, super careful from now on,” Salinas said. “God forbid I go to the hospital and they get his records.”
Medical identity theft affected an estimated 1.5 million people in the U.S. at a cost of $41.3 billion last year, according to the Ponemon Institute, a research center focused on privacy and data security. The crime has grown as health care costs have swelled and job cuts have left people without employer-subsidized insurance. Making matters worse: The complexity of the medical system has made it difficult for victims to clear their name.”
To read the complete Bloomberg story, “How Medical Identity Theft Can Give You a Decade of Headache” click here.