VA offers tips to avoid medical ID theft

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) and FBI warn of potential medical identity theft scams.

Medical ID theft occurs when someone steals or uses your personal information to obtain medical care or submit fraudulent claims to your health insurance company without your permission. Theft can be committed by anyone, including family members, caregivers, healthcare workers, pharmacy staff, telemarketers, and scammers.

You or a family member may be a victim of medical ID theft if you or a family member has experienced any of the following:

· Received veteran benefits or medical insurance communications that you did not request or initiate (such as appointment reminders or benefit determinations).

· I received an invoice, benefit description, or other document regarding services I did not receive.

· Asked for or received prescription drugs, durable medical devices, or medical supplies that you did not order or approve.

· Incorrect information was found in medical records.

· Denied insurance (life, long-term care, or supplement) due to inaccurate medical history.

· You have been contacted or notified of an action to collect unknown unpaid medical expenses in your name;

· You discover lost emails or unauthorized access to financial records.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from medical ID theft.

· Protect all personal and health insurance information. Do not allow others to use your health insurance (illegal). Also, be careful with whom you share your data.

· Beware of unsolicited “free” health care services or promised compensation.

· Please review the offer description carefully to ensure the date, location, provider and services billed are accurate.

· Notify the VA and insurance companies if your identity or the identity of a covered family member is at risk.

· Alert your local VA if your VA ID card is lost or stolen.

· Monitor your credit report for new inquiries, open lines of credit, or unknown debt.

VA OIG has a Fraud Indicators Toolkit available online at

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