RALEIGH — As technology evolves, criminals have identified different ways to steal information.
Medical information can be hijacked and used to file fraudulent claims and access prescription drugs. Perpetrators often use a person’s identity to have expensive medical, dental and surgical procedures completed. As a result, victims are stuck with enormous medical bills. Medical identity theft can happen to anyone, but there are precautions you can take to safeguard your private information.
“Patients should be extremely proactive in protecting personal documentation containing Social Security numbers, medical ID numbers, and login credentials such as usernames and passwords,” said Dr. Alec Parker, executive director of the N.C. Dental Society. “Sometimes patients don’t notice fraudulent charges until they receive notice that their benefits are maxed out. Remember to check all charges on your account. The earlier you spot a discrepancy on your account, the easier it will be to rectify.”
The N.C. Dental Society shares a few tips to help you protect your information:
• Avoid sharing confidential information. Often scammers will disguise themselves as employees of insurance companies, medical offices and pharmacies to retrieve your personal information. Be sure to examine phone numbers carefully and avoid giving out personal information over the phone or via email.
• Destroy prescription bottle labels. Use permanent marker or ink pens to scratch off your name, address and prescription number before you dispose of empty bottles.
• Review insurance statements/dental bills. Read your medical bills, dental bills and insurance statements carefully to be sure all charges are accurate. Check the date of service on all statements.