Definition

medical identity theft

Medical identity theft is the illegal access and use of someone’s personally identifiable information to fraudulently obtain medical service, prescription drugs or medical insurance coverage.

As with general identity theft, the types of information stolen can include name and social security number. Medical identity theft often involves medical insurance numbers, medicare numbers or patient or physician identification numbers, which may be used directly or sold on the black market. Stolen medical identities are often used to obtain addictive prescription medications. In other cases, it may be used by those with medical credentials to bill for services never provided.

Victims may receive bills for drugs, services or insurance they did not receive, which can impact their credit rating and insurance costs.  The perpetrators' actions can also impact victims' medical records, potentially resulting in conflicting information that affects their prescriptions and diagnosis.

According to the World Privacy Forum and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, medical identity theft makes up at least 1 percent of all fraud.

This was last updated in January 2014
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • active attack

    - An active attack is a network exploit in which a hacker attempts to make changes to data on the target or data en route to the target. In a masquerade attack, for example, the intruder pretends to ... (WhatIs.com)

  • passive attack

    - A passive attack is a network attack in which a system is monitored and sometimes scanned for open ports and vulnerabilities. The purpose is solely to gain information about the target and no data ... (WhatIs.com)

  • cryptography

    - Cryptography is a method of storing and transmitting data in a particular form so that only those for whom it is intended can read and process it. The term is most often associated with scrambling ... (SearchSoftwareQuality.com)

Glossaries

  • Security threats and countermeasures

    - Terms related to security threats, including definitions about anti-virus programs or firewalls and words and phrases about malware, viruses, Trojans and other security attacks.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About medical identity theftPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.