Another of our favorite sources for ID Theft information is the Identity Theft Resource Center. This week’s blog is credited to Sam Imandoust, Esq, a legal analyst from ITRC. Sam warns about prescription fraud–when an identity thief, using your personal information, has a prescription issued and possibly filled under your name.
An identity thief using your identity to be prescribed restricted medications, may also use your health insurance to purchase the medication. This means that you, the victim, will often get left with the bill for any unpaid expenses the identity thief incurs while using your identity and medical insurance.
It is important to be alert for any explanation of benefits (EOB) you receive from your health insurance provider or bills for medical services you did not seek or receive. This may be your best warning that an identity thief is abusing your medical identity and insurance.
Unfortunately, there are worse consequences to being a victim of prescription fraud than bearing the brunt of fraudulent medical bills. When an identity thief uses your medical identity to be prescribed medication, this information will be incorporated into your health record. Any subsequent medical personnel looking at your record will see the new prescriptions and make medical decisions based on this fraudulent record. Prescription fraud victims have discovered they were victims of identity theft and prescription fraud after their pharmacy refused to fill their current, valid prescription because it conflicted with another medication prescribed to the identity thief.
The best defense to prescription fraud or any identity theft is to be keenly aware of your personal information. Any documents that contain personal information such as your birth date, Social Security number, driver’s license number, or insurance plan information, should be stored somewhere safe and secure or shredded when no longer needed. Do not carry your Social Security card, military identification, or Medicare card on your person as they have your Social Security number on them and are extremely helpful in the hands of an identity theft. New military identification cards no longer have Social Security numbers on them, so if you have an old military ID you can always renew your card to reduce your risk of identity theft.
For more on identity theft best practices, please visit www.hvshred.com