The fastest growing ID theft and ways to prevent it.

Seven On Your Side
May 3, 2010 3:07:15 PM PDT
It's one of the fastest growing frauds out there, medical identity theft. It costs the government billions in fraudulent Medicare payouts. And it could cost you your life. They were two bills for seemingly benign medical charges, one for a semen analysis. The other? A pregnancy test.

But here's the problem, both apparently were performed on the same day, on the same person, a 72 year old granny.

Meet June Smith, a frustrated victim of medical identity theft. Her pile of papers represent between $25,000 and $30,000 in bogus bills.

June found scam charges in her Medicare explanation of benefits from fraud clinics as far away as Florida. The amount to nearly 4 years of bad bills, all paid by Medicare and tax payer dollars, even years after June first complained.

Clueless about how they were compromised, today June shreds all documents. Her husband even tears address labels off magazines before recycling.

"We're talking about potentially life and death." Adam Levin's company, Identity Theft 911 helps victims likes people like the Smiths fight medical identity theft. He warns this type of fraud can cost more than money. "Because if your blood type changes, if allergies disappear in medical files because of the intermingling between the information of the identity theft and yours," said the ID theft cop.

Some ways to stamp out the scam? Scan your explanation of benefits carefully to flag bogus charges even ask doctors to go through their your own records to find discrepancies.

And check your credit report once a year for bogus collections charges. Identity theft 911 is a service that fights for you if you're a victim of identity theft. If you have a homeowners or renter's insurance policy, read your policy, it may already be part of your coverage.

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Story by: Nina Pineda


Produced by: Steve Livingstone CONNECT WITH NINA PINEDA

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