Medical Records the Latest Target for ID Thieves

Ad Feedback

Health insurance is becoming a new target for identity thieves.

Anndorie Sachs is one victim. She had no idea her medical identity had been stolen until the phone rang -- and Child Protective Services was on the line.

"They stated I was under investigation because the baby I just had tested positive for methamphetamine," Sachs recalled.

But Sachs hadn't given birth in more than two years.

"I said come meet me and you'll know that I didn't just have a baby," she continued.

That explanation wasn't enough. Social Services investigators probed into Sachs' life, questioning her employers and even interrogating her kids.

In the end, it was discovered a pregnant drug abuser stole Sachs' driver's license, took on her identity and delivered a baby under her name.

But authorities say this type of medical identity theft isn't rare.

"We have definitely seen an increase in medical identity theft over the last year," said Jennifer Trussell, director of investigations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Last year, more than 300,000 Americans were victims of medical identity theft. The criminals will stop at nothing to get their hands on medical records and are smart and organized.

"We have heard reports of receptionists specifically being sent in by some of these identity theft rings to do nothing more than steal identities," Trussell said.

Joe Ryan was confused when he opened a 40,000 surgery bill for a procedure he never had.

"The hospital actually thought that I was going make this $44,000 payment and I was proving to them I have no scars from a surgery. And they said, 'No, we're going to go ahead and pursue this," Ryan said. "I was in disbelief."

The hospital eventually waved his bill, but not in time to save his credit from being destroyed.

Many victims of medical identity theft find it nearly impossible to overturn the damages done. Some spend months just seeking help.

"The hospital didn't want to help me. The police didn't want to help me," Sachs said. "You're really on your own with this."

Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!

Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting? Are you facing a difficult situation?

Find peace with God, discover more about God or send us your prayer request.

Call The 700 Club Prayer Center at 1 (800) 823-6053, 24 hours a day.

A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.

Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.