Medical Identity Theft Cases Increasing
Updated: Monday, November 5 2012, 11:01 PM EST
When we think of identity theft, it is usually in the form of fake credit cards or bank loans. But there are other parts of your identity that are just as tempting to thieves. Tonight, we look at one man who had his identity stolen to feed a drug habit.
Bryan O’Neil has served in the National Guard since the 9-11 attacks as a veteran explosives specialist. But one day he opened a letter than would turn his world around.
O’Neil received a bill in the mail for prescription medications purchased in his name that he knew nothing about. The bill showed highly addictive narcotic medications were being picked up at pharmacies across the state unbeknown to him.
O’Neil’s plight is part of a small but growing scam known as medical identity theft. A thief obtains someone’s name, date of birth and medical insurance information to receive prescriptions.
Addictions expert Mike Gimball says it is an increasingly common scam fueled by the growing demand for pain medications.
The Federal Trade Commission’s annual report of identity theft says over the past two year, roughly 600 thousand people have been victims of medical identity theft.
O’Neil has since learned that a former spouse used his identity but police have yet to investigate his case.
O’Neil says he will continue to press police to take action in his case.