Medical identity theft
can be one of the most damaging types of fraud for consumers for a number of reasons, and this specific type of crime may be growing more common in Massachusetts.
This fraud is more problematic because while a stolen credit card or even Social Security number can result in thousands of dollars in bogus charges, those involving medical data - such as insurance information - could cost tens of thousands or more, according to a report from Boston news station WBZ
. Further, some types of treatment criminals could obtain as a result of medical identity theft could alter a victim's personal files in life-threatening ways, such as by changing their recorded blood type or treatment history.
"Under the federal privacy law, hospitals are not supposed to give people records that are not about them, and once a thief has used your file, it's not actually you anymore, even though it is," medical identity theft expert Pam Dixon told the news station. Adam Levin
, chairman of Identity Theft 911, has a blog about the specific dangers medical identity theft and other types of fraud pose to consumers.
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