We are pleased to announce the release of our 2013 Survey on Medical Identity Theft. This is the fourth year of the study and as in previous years we find that medical identity theft continues to be a costly and potentially life-threatening crime. However, unlike other forms of identity theft, the thief is most likely to be someone the victim knows very well. In this study of more than 700 victims of this fraud, most cases of identity theft result not from a data breach but from the sharing of personal identification credentials with family and friends. Or, family members take the victim’s credentials without permission.
We believe that individuals, healthcare organizations and government working together can reduce the risk of medical identity theft. First, individuals need to be aware of the negative consequences of sharing their credentials despite possible good intentions. They should also take the time to read their medical records and explanation of benefits statements to ensure that their information is correct. Second, healthcare organizations and government should improve their authentication procedures to prevent imposters from obtaining medical services and products.
Sponsored by the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA), with support from ID Experts, the report can be found at http://medidfraud.org/2013-survey-on-medical-identity-theft.