Fairfax Senior Citizens Learn How To Thwart Medical ID Theft | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Fairfax Senior Citizens Learn How To Thwart Medical ID Theft

Play associated audio

The Federal Trade Commission is teaming with local governments to spread the word about the fastest-growing type of identity theft: medical ID theft.

Vee Johnson, of the Fairfax County's Consumer Affairs Division, wants local residents, especially senior citizens, to guard their personal health information just as closely as they guard their money.

"Protect your Medicare card, protect your health insurance card just as you would a credit card," she says.

Johnson says that to a medical ID thief, a health insurance card could be even more valuable than a credit card because with most credit cards there's a spending limit.

But at Hollin Hall Senior Center today, Johnson also explained how medical ID theft is a health risk as well as a financial one: It can lead to misdiagnosis from doctors looking at the wrong personal information.

Ann Connell says she's always been careful with her Medicare card, but now she plans to spend some extra time reading through the information release forms she's never bothered to read at the doctor's office.

"I just automatically sign it because it's just tons of paragraphs of stuff -- I don't think it's...going to affect me," Connell says. "Well, now I'm going to read it."

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute -- a group dedicated to privacy and data protection -- showed that nearly 6 percent of Americans have been victims of medical identity theft.

NPR

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.
NPR

New Cuba Relationship Could Be A Boon For American Farmers

Two-thirds of the food Cubans eat is imported — but the reestablishment of ties with the U.S. could open opportunities for American farmers.
NPR

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.
NPR

Obama Says 'James Flacco.' The Internet Says, Thank You

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama said "James Flacco" when referring to James Franco — on a Friday before the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received online.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.