Imagine this: You recently attended your annual health checkup. When you receive the medical bill, it is a few thousand dollars over the expected amount! You call your medical establishment to find out what these extra charges are for. The receptionist is convinced that your bill is reflecting the correct amount. But you know that you didn’t receive all the extra medical services that your bill shows. What has gone wrong?
In this scenario, it is highly likely that an identity thief has compromised your medical information and is using it to receive services in your name. Stolen medical data is a hacker’s jackpot. It often contains everything an identity thief needs to pretend to be someone else: name, address, date of birth, medical history, financial accounts and other highly sensitive, personal info.
Why Hackers Want Your Medical Info:
- Hospitals and healthcare organizations are usually easy to hack.
- A thief could create a false ID using your info. Now they can make big purchases in your name.
- Thieves may use your data to file false insurance claims for services they received as “you.”
- Hackers often use stolen data to buy drugs or other illegal items without getting caught.
Thieves often sell stolen medical information on the dark web. Whereas a stolen credit card number only sells for a maximum of $100, stolen medical records can sell for up to $1,000 per victim. Healthcare provider information is also a big attraction on the black market. A thief steals a doctor’s licensing and insurance information and sells it for a profit. The buyer can then pose as the doctor to file insurance claims for expensive surgeries “the doctor” performed.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Medical Records From a Hacker?
While nothing is guaranteed to prevent identity theft, you can take steps to deter a thief from targeting your personal files:
- You know how you diligently keep your Social Security number as private as possible? Do the same with your medical insurance numbers.
- If you don’t need to keep medical paperwork or prescription-drug labels, shred them. Throwing them in the trashcan could potentially give a dumpster diver a nice surprise.
- Don’t reveal too much on social media. Keep your surgeries, medical procedures, specialist visits and other medical events off your social media accounts.
- Monitor your financial accounts and insurance statements to make sure unexpected costs don’t show up. If anything suspicious appears, act quickly to correct it.
You don’t have to keep track of all those medical records by yourself. IDShield is here to keep an eye out for you and alert you to any suspicious activity. Find out how IDShield can help.
IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”). LegalShield provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. For complete terms, coverage and conditions, please see an identity theft plan. All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.