Medical identity theft occurs when your personally identifiable information is used by someone else for health care, health coverage, disability benefits, and more. The end result can range from mild annoyance to a life threatening conflict of care, and can also have criminal consequences for the victim if it’s not resolved.

In this LifeLock UnLocked post, our friends at the Identity Theft Resource Center outline the risks of medical identity theft.

A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions to make healthier choices in the coming year. For some, that resolution also translates into making appointments for much-needed health and dental screenings, vowing to follow up on previous diagnoses, and keeping a watch on medical conditions.

But while you’re taking better care of your body, this is also a good time to make a resolution to take better care of your medical identity. What is a medical identity? Well, for starters, it was the leading form of data breach in 2014, largely due to the reporting laws in place that require practitioners to report leaks of patient information. Your medical identity, just like your personal identity or your financial identity, is the information that a thief can use to his own benefit while harming your ability to receive care.

Medical identity theft can also have disastrous effects that can actually be life threatening. Imagine going to the emergency room and being given medication that you’re allergic to because someone else has received care in your name and listed no known allergies. Even worse, you arrive at the hospital only to have the doctor look in your chart and see that you come in quite frequently for narcotic pain relievers, or you’ve previously been diagnosed with a complex physical or mental illness that interferes with your care. All because someone else is playing games with your identity and your health.

Click here to read the full blog.

February 17, 2015 by LifeLock, courtesy of Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC)