Asset Protection
 Identity theft: ARTICLE

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Recognize Whatís At Risk To Identity Theft And Signs Of Theft
by Shane Flait (2013)

Identity theft is big business since thereís easy money to be made with it and itís relatively easy to steal identity information. Learn to be aware of whatís at risk and recognize the signs that your identity information has been stolen. The elderly are extremely vulnerable to ID theft since they can be easily confused by clever approaches by ID thieves.

How thieves use your identity information will show you what to look for

We think, mainly, of someone using our identity information for stealing money from our bank account or charging up our credit cards. Thatís certainly worrisome and can be easily detected by you.

But other uses are more subtle and you must keep an eye out for those too. They include opening up utility accounts in your name, getting medical treatment on your health insurance, and filing a phony tax return in your name to get a refund.

Medical treatment is expensive so obtaining use of someone elseís insurance benefits is valuable information. The ID thief can use your name and health insurance numbers to get prescription drugs, file claims with your insurance provider, or see a doctor. The thiefís health information can become entangled with your treatment, insurance and payment records.

Tips to protect your medical information

  • Watch out when anyone offers you free health services or products, especially if needs for you to provide your health plan identification number to qualify you, or something.
  • Identity thieves often pretend to work for an insurance company or clinics to trick you for your medical information.
  • Donít give away your medical or insurance information unless you initiated the contact and you know with whom youíre dealing.
  • Keep copies of your medical and health insurance records in a place not easily accessible by a thief
  • Shred old health insurance, prescription and physician forms and statements, and
  • Rip off the labels from prescription bottles when you throw them out.

What signs suggest that your identity information has been stolen Ė and is in use?

The obvious ones are that you see withdrawals from your savings account or unfamiliar charges on your credit card bills. These are the most common signs.

Other more subtle signs are:

  • Debt collectors call you about debts that you know nothing about
  • Medical providers start billing your for services unfamiliar to you
  • Your health plan rejects you because your medical records show that you have a condition you know nothing about, or your records show youíve spent up to your limit on claims Ėwhich you didnít!
  • The IRS attributes income to your from an employer you donít work for or notifies that you filed than one tax return return for the year.
Take immediate action by checking all your account and records of all sorts and notify all organizations you have accounts with to let them know that a fraud has taken place.







Shane Flait is a writer and educator