prevent medical identity theft during the privacy crisis

Do you know how to prevent medical identity theft, the fastest growing identity fraud crime segment of identity theft? Start by understanding that medical providers including doctors, nurses, labratory technicians, hospital administrators, office clerks, and all whom you come in contact with as you seek medical treatment are strangers-not your friends. So, once you understand that these folks should be treated as business people, not trusting friends, you can be on your way to preventing identity theft, and hopefully avoid having your personal data stolen when medical provider employees are careless with your information.

Avoid medical identity theft by not providing your Social Security number to medical providers. Why? Because with this lone identifier, the medical identity thief can literally wreck your entire financial life. He/she can pose as you and receive medical treatment, open credit lines, borrow money for a house, and commit a host of other identity theft crimes.

Provide medical insurance information only when services are to be provided. Often, clerks will ask for medical insurance policy information, and other personal and confidential data over the telephone prior to scheduling the medical appointment. Tell them NO if you want to protect identity and avoid the identity theft fraud crime of medical identity theft.

If the medical service is only a routine office visit, I would opt for paying cash and claiming benefits under insurance plans at a later time to avoid medical identity theft caused by negligent employees of medical providers.