August 5, 2011
This is a relatively unknown crime but it's growing fast. It happens when someone posing as you gets medical treatment under your name. The aftermath is messy. It's also hard to clear up thanks to the byzantine healthcare system and privacy laws that can make it tough for the victim to view their own medical records. Pam Dixon of The World Privacy Forum says the majority of medical identity theft takes place behind computer screens at hospitals, clinics and their subcontractors, so there's very little the humble patient can do about it. She and her colleagues are coming out with a new report on medical identity theft in September. In the meantime, if your wallet is stolen, tell your insurance company as well as your credit card company. That insurance card could be a gold mine for someone.