Identity theft is frequently an issue for Florida residents. Yet, even with the dangers the illegal practice already presents, a new form of identity theft has started to arise. Medical identity theft is a growing practice that can leave individuals with tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. If you are concerned about medical identity theft in the state of Florida, please reach out to a Fort Lauderdale identity theft attorney from Sharmin & Sharmin P.A. today.
What is Medical Identity Theft?
Identity theft is widely known as an incident that occurs when someone steals someone else’s personal information in order to commit certain financial crimes in their name. The fallout of such an occurrence can be devastating to the life of the victim. However, this phenomenon has become increasingly more common in the healthcare system, awarding the crime the name “medical identity theft.” Reported incidents of medical identity theft have risen by over 600% between 2017 and 2021.
Medical identity theft is defined as when someone’s identity is stolen for the purpose of purchasing medical and healthcare-related services. Whether it be to purchase medicine from the pharmacist or receive a costly cosmetic surgery, medical theft can leave a victim with enormous amounts of debt when it was really someone else who benefited from the services.
How Does Medical Identity Happen in Florida?
Upon presenting the healthcare staff with someone else’s identifying information, the bills and debts of the care are sent to the individual whose identity was stolen:
Social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
Medicare or health insurance number
This information can be obtained by criminals in a number of fashions. Sometimes, personal information is leaked after hackers obtain access to someone’s personal technological devices. This could be done independently or through the use of malware, phishing, viruses, and more. Other alternative circumstances that may lead to leaked personal information include loss of personal materials such as password notebooks or a data breach on a hospital’s software.
Potential Aftereffects of a Medical Identity Theft Scam
Frequently, victims of medical identity theft will receive a bill in the mail regarding the services purchased in their name. While they may be unfamiliar with the claims of service the healthcare facility is making, they still require payment and will pursue their options in retrieving it. Disputing such a bill may take a long time and be extremely logistical, eventually leading to the bill being sent to a debt collection agency or the like. Legal experts in Florida recommend enlisting the help of lawyers to help organize the effort of clearing one’s name of debt that is not theirs.
Sharmin & Sharmin, Fighting for Floridians
Despite the serious implications of medical identity theft, victims have a number of options. Medical identity theft attorneys from Sharmin & Sharmin have dealt with cases such as these time and time again, giving them an understanding of how these types of claims are dealt with in a court of law. To learn more about your options after a case of medical identity theft, please reach out to our firm at 1-844-Sharmin or our online contact form.
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