Saturday, August 12, 2006

Identity Theft with Medical and Assisted Living Centers

Identity-Theft-with-Medical-and-Assisted-Living-Centers-audio post - click to play

Alert: your aged loved ones residing in an
assisted living
center are prime targets for
unscrupulous identity thieves.
So are
patient records at medical groups.


The common element in both of these recent cases is
vulnerable patients and disgruntled employees.

It seems in our first case, two identity thieves, one who
actually worked at an assisted living facility aided an
outside accomplice by stealing elderly patient's personal
information such as:

  • Names
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number (ssn)

The outside accomplice would then apply for car and student
loans in the unsuspecting elderly victim's name.

However, at least in this case, one of the intended victim's
daughter was alerted by law enforcement when a $15,000
student loan
application raised red flags.

Evidently the assisted living center employee was able to
gain access to the victim's personal information as part
of her job responsibilities to "shred old financial
records"
.

When arrested, this identity thief, had even managed to
steal the personal information of a former
patient who
had died four years previously.

Is there any shame left with this type of behavior by
greedy identity thieves?

Evidently not as our next case involves a Washington state
medical center former employee who is charged with
illegally
acquiring the medical records of 6,000
patients
.

It seems the former employee used his laptop computer
to
download the medical records containing the highly
prized information identity thieves will $100 or more for:

  • Patients' Names
  • Addresses
  • Social Security Numbers (ssn)
  • Dates of Birth (dob)

With this late breaking story, there is no evidence yet
available the patient's personal information has been
used in credit fraud. But, the medical center involved has
set up a special hotline and is advising it's patients
to check their credit reports.

So, our tip for today is twofold. First, those patients
both past and present of the Madrona Medical Group in
Bellingham, Washington, should immediately file a "free"
fraud alert with any of the three major credit
bureaus.


Secondly, contact the Madrona Medical Group on their
special hot line for further assistance.

That local hot line number is 752-5635.

Finally, for those who have elderly relatives residing
in assisted living centers, make sure you enroll them
in a credit monitoring service to automatically send
you wireless alerts, email, or phone calls upon any
suspicious credit activity involving their social
security number.

1 Comments:

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats just great - now I know what to look forward to in my golden years.

Some thieving animal stealing all of my remaining good credit when my mind is too far gone to defend myself.

Makes me want to run up all of my credit to the limit and then declare BK if I knew I was diagnosed with alzheimers or cancer.

 

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