Identity theft is a continuing plague in the consumer market and affects nearly every business one way or another. The biggest concern of consumers tends to be identity theft or credit card fraud. In the US there were over 3 million credit card complaints from consumers, 42 per cent of which were related to fraud and 13 per cent related to identity theft. Medical identity theft is something that results as a consequence of identity theft and poses a more serious threat to us. This makes the need for implementation of fraud protection measures like digital ID verification by insurance companies and healthcare providers more imminent.
Why is Medical Data so Attractive to Fraudsters?
Nearly 10% of the US population had their medical data compromised in the year 2016. The real question one needs to ask is why cybercriminals find it easy to steal medical records. Our health records generally contain every detail necessary for fraudsters to commit identity theft. Everything from our birth dates to family history, insurance details and medical history is outlined in those records. All such information gives criminals ample enough information to commit a wide range of crimes including medical identity theft, insurance fraud and financial fraud.
Moreover, stealing data from banks and retailers is becoming increasingly harder. As financial institutes increase security across all their channels, cybercriminals are not getting good opportunities to commit identity theft or credit card fraud through people’s financial records. They use everything from transaction monitoring to anomaly detection to online ID verification procedures to keep fraudsters out. Healthcare providers and the medical industry, in general, do not have the same security measures in place to protect patient records.
How to Protect Yourself from Medical Identity Theft?
Fortunately, the same precautions that one takes to protect their financial records can be taken to avoid having your medical records stolen. Keeping your insurance records safe is the first step to being vigilant about medical ID theft. One must also observe caution with keeping an eye on medical bills and details in the same way we tend to monitor our financial records and bank statements. If a procedure or medication that shows up on your medical bills that do not seem right, make sure to report it to your health care provider or the insurance company.
Make sure to ask your insurance provider what sort of security measures they use to protect client data. They can normally give you a brief description of the sort of cybersecurity measures they use. Also, make sure to ask them about the details about who can access your data and can the access to your data be effectively tracked and traced by the company. If your provider is unable or unwilling to give you such details, consider switching to one that has better regard for client security and is more transparent about its data protection protocols
With the increasing cases of fraud, healthcare providers, hospitals and pharmacies are coming around to using proper fraud protection. They are now implementing systems like online ID verification that can detect fraudsters in real-time.