Have You Ever Been a Victim of Financial Medical Identity Theft?
By: Marco Maggiore, SaberGuard, Vice President of Marketing
When most people think of identity theft, they only imagine the financial implications of someone opening up credit cards or writing bad checks. However, there is a whole world of ways in which these creative thieves can use a victim’s personal information. One of those ways is medical identity theft and even within this subset of crime there are even more types of crimes to be committed. One of those is called Financial Identity Theft.
Examples of this type of fraud include a hospital or a doctor billing you for medical services given to another person. The thief may or may not have a copy of your private insurance card.
Here are the following steps you should take if you believe you have become a victim of this particular crime.
- Contact the billing department of the medical facility or doctor requesting payment. If you are receiving this notice from a collection agency, contact the collection agency first. Explain that this is a case of identity theft or mistaken identity. If the billing department is reluctant to help, contact the attending doctor, or the medical facilityâ€™s fraud or legal department.
- Ask when service was provided. You might be able to prove you were somewhere else during that period.
- What service was provided? If surgery was done or a condition was diagnosed, you might be able to prove you donâ€™t have a scar or that condition.
- Ask if your Social Security Number (SSN) was used or just a name and address. This thief may be affecting your credit status in other ways. He or she may be opening new lines of credit or leaving other collection actions behind.
- Ask if this person used your medical insurance card or number. If so, contact your insurance company and report the problem. Ask for a new number on the replacement card. They may also have a fraud department that tracks cases.
- File a police report in your city and state of residence. You are a victim of a crime. At your earliest opportunity, obtain a copy of the police report.
- Send copies of your affidavit of fraud, the police report, any other supporting documentation proving identity theft to the medical billing department and any additional collection agencies which may be involved. Please remember to mail this documentation certified, return receipt requested.
- Once the provider agrees this is a case of fraud or identity theft, get that agreement in writing and keep it in a safe place forever. This is called a Letter of Clearance.
While this seems like an overwhelming amount of activity to clear your name, it is not. It will be difficult and you will be angry that this has happened to you, but it can be rectified.
If at any time you need additional help or have questions you can always call SaberGuard at 224-723-5069 to speak with a live Victim Advisor who is trained to help you through this process.
Marco Maggiore is SaberGuard’s Vice President of Marketing, with responsibility for the company’s global marketing, strategic partnerships and overall brand strategy. His team is responsible for positioning SaberGuard’s growth strategy and cultivating opportunities in new and existing markets through market and customer insight, corporate positioning, branding, and advertising, as well as marketing of products, solutions, and partners. Mr. Maggiore continues his leadership in shaping the company’s reputation and perception around the globe.