The fast-growing crime of medical identity theft is being fueled by the proliferation of electronic medical records and a sharp increase in data breaches at insurers and health care providers.

Crooks obtain or steal millions of Americans’ personal data, including insurance information and Social Security numbers, and use it to get emergency care, surgery, prescriptions and medical equipment, The Wall Street Journal reports. They also seek to profit by billing Medicare, Medicaid and insurers using someone else’s identity.

Five things to know about medical ID theft and how to prevent it:

  • 1. It’s different from financial ID theft
  • 2. Sometimes, it’s an inside job
  • 3. Some of the increase in medical ID theft is tied to organized crime
  • 4. Keep tabs on your personal information
  • 5. Review your medical records

Click here for details on the Five Things.

Click here to read the related article, How Identity Theft Sticks You With Hospital Bills.

Click here to watch the related news video.

August 7, 2015 by Stephanie Armour, The Wall Street Journal