Nearly half of all identity theft happens at health care providers
By Clark Howard, ClarkHoward.com
MAY 28, 2014 – Identity theft at doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical providers is booming. But there is a way to protect yourself…
The Identity Theft Resource Center reports almost half of all identity theft now is happening at medical providers like the ones just mentioned.
There are many reasons why medical identity theft is running rampant. High turnover in the back offices and too much paperwork floating around are chief among them. The scary reality is that one errant employee can steal the identities of hundreds if not thousands of people. Without question, this is the fastest growing area of identity theft.
So what can you do? Is this just another problem without a solution? No way.
Here’s my advice: Don’t fill in your Social Security number on any medical paperwork when you first go to a doctor. The only reason they want your Social Security is that so if you don’t pay, it’s easier to turn you over to a collection agency.
This is such an Achilles heel for identity theft. Don’t fill that number in. You won’t have ironclad protection, but it’s a good start.
Here are some additional tips to keep you out of harm’s way: