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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

June 2012 - Posts

  • Botched care because of medical ID theft can cost you – dearly

    A new survey shows that there are very few people out there who actually know what medical identity theft is – or how drastically it can affect you and your health.


    Nationwide Insurance sponsored the survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive. The findings showed that only one in six insured adults know what medical identity theft is, and could accurately define it. 


    A stolen medical identity fetches about $50 on the black market – while by comparison, a stolen Social Security number sells for about $1. Most people are aware they need to protect their Social Security number; but few are aware of or as careful about their medical information. 


    Medical identity theft is when a thief steals someone's medical information in order to obtain medical services himself. While on the surface this doesn't seem so bad, it can be catastrophic when it comes back to haunt the victim. The victim can be denied health care, insurance and even be in mortal danger if the thief's medical information becomes confused with the victim's – the victim could be given medication he is deathly allergic to or some other action with deadly consequences.


    Protect your medical information by monitoring closely the explanation of benefits section on your insurance summary, request a list of benefits from your health insurer, and request a copy of your current medical files from each of your health care providers. You should also keep a close eye on your credit reports.

    Posted Jun 13 2012, 03:49 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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  • LinkedIn leak makes headlines

    If you have a LinkedIn account, you may want to think about changing the password.


    Although LinkedIn gurus haven't yet confirmed it, it's being reported everywhere that more than six million passwords belonging to LinkedIn users have been compromised. All LinkedIn spokespersons have said thus far is that there is a team looking into the incident.


    A file containing 6,458,020 password hashes has been posted on the Internet, and hackers are working to crack them. The data that has been released thus far does not include associated e-mail addresses, but officials speculate this information is in the hands of the criminals. 


    If you have a LinkedIn account, change your password immediately. Here's how:

     

    • Log into your account.


    • Click on the drop down menu where you see your name i the top right hand corner of the home page. Select "settings."


    • Choose the option to change your password. You will need to enter your old password, then the new one twice. 


    Remember: It is crucial that you make your password difficult to decipher. Use a mixture of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers. The more difficult you make it, the less likely you'll fall victim to identity theft. 

    Posted Jun 06 2012, 03:55 PM by IdentityTheft with 1 comment(s)
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  • What do you do if your deceased loved one falls victim to identity theft?

    Identity thieves take advantage of their victims in many ways and, in most cases, those victims can and do fight back. But what if the victim is deceased?


    As awful as this sounds, it is much more common than you think. It's apparently quite easy to track down the Social Security number of a deceased person and use it to commit fraud. So if you've lost a loved one and you're concerned about this happening, here are some things you can do.


    First, request a copy of your family member's credit report. This should be one by a spouse or executor of the estate. You will have to provide copies of the death certificate and any documentation that shows you are the executor, if that is the case. Once you have the reports, review them carefully, checking for any fraudulent accounts. 


    When you receive the reports, you should also receive from the credit bureaus instructions for placing a notice that the credit file belongs to a deceased party, as well as how to add a security alert or "don't issue credit" statement. If your loved one is a victim of identity theft, notify the corresponding credit bureau, and make these requests.


    Posted Jun 01 2012, 02:23 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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