Are You One of Millions of Americans Affected by Medical Identity Theft?
You've surely heard of identity theft. But what about medical identity theft?
That's when thieves use your name or your health insurance numbers to go see a doctor, get prescriptions, file claims with your insurance provider or get other care.
Medical identity theft is a growing trend, with an estimated 2.3 million Americans victimized in 2014 alone, according to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance.
Attorneys Richard St. Paul and David Schwartz appeared on "America's News Headquarters" to weigh on if victims can end up being liable for fraudulent charges and what action they can take.
Schwartz said there's a chain of liability in this kind of identity theft, including insurance companies, credit reporting bureaus and the victims, whose credit can often be destroyed.
"Now you have the victims, they're being charged with all these medical expenses. They're not paying it because they don't even know about it, so now their credit is going down, and they're trying to undo this horrible situation," Schwartz explained. "It's a nightmare for victims and they can't get anywhere."
He asserted that the only solution for victims is to sue in federal court.
St. Paul said that it can cost victims $13,000 or more on average to get their credit issues fixed, so he agreed with Schwartz that the only solution is to sue the hospitals or whoever is asking victims for money.
He added that you can help catch medical identity theft by keeping a close eye on your credit reports and medical records.
Watch more above.
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