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

Why Afghanistan's 'Underground Girls' Skirt Tradition To Live As Boys

In a new book, journalist Jenny Nordberg writes about the bacha posh, young girls who dress up like boys to enjoy the freedoms of being an Afghan male for as long as they can.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

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