We’ve all heard about identity theft in regards to bank accounts and credit cards, but there is another kind of identity theft that can be even costlier to you!
It’s medical identity theft. That’s when someone steals you name and insurance information, then uses it to get treatments and drugs for themselves, sticking you with the bill. With most credit card fraud, the bank or the card company winds eating most of phony charges. With medical ID theft, you could be on the hook for the charges.
To protect yourself:
- Read those letters that say “THIS IS NOT A BILL” – Make sure you go over the medical services and drugs in those letters. If you notice a treatment or a doctor you don’t know (as well as medication you are not taking). Contact your insurance company immediately.
- Guard your health insurance cards and numbers – And remember that goes for dental and vision plans as well as your medical insurance. That also goes for your Medicare card (even though it no longer contains your SSN).
- When you visit a doctor, make sure you get a copy what transpired during that visit – Including treatments performed and medication prescribed.
- Be Careful of “Free Screenings” – While most are legit, avoid any “free screening” that requires you disclose insurance information.
We all know how fast tech devices seem to age. But don’t just chuck them out. There is a market for older cell phones, tablet, laptops and the like.
Online sites like uSell and Gazelle will buy your items, saving you the trouble of finding a buyer. Best Buy, Apply and Target will exchange your old devices for gift cards. Other sites like Swappa and Glyde will let you list old items for sale for a percentage of the sale price.
While newer and better conditioned items will fetch higher prices, there are buyers out there for older and somewhat damaged goods as well.
But remember! Make sure you wipe the device of any personal information before you sell it!