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Resources > Cyberattacks > What To Do if Your Medical Records Are Stolen—Answered

What To Do if Your Medical Records Are Stolen—Answered

Losing your medical records to identity thieves can be distressing and alarming. Not only does it compromise your privacy, but it also puts your personal information and even your health at risk. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain what to do if your medical records are stolen.

From reporting the incident to taking preventative measures against medical identity theft, we’ll provide you with valuable information you need to handle the theft of your medical records.

What Information May Be Stolen From Medical Records?

Medical fraud is a critical issue that compromises the security and privacy of individuals’ sensitive information. Perpetrators can exploit this data for various malicious purposes, including financial gain, identity theft, and fraudulent activities. The data susceptible to theft during a healthcare security incident includes:

  • Your personally identifiable information (PII), including your full name, date of birth, and Social Security number (SSN)
  • Credit card numbers, bank account details, and billing addresses
  • Detailed medical histories, diagnoses, treatments, and test results
  • Your health insurance policy number, provider details, and claim histories
  • Your genetic data and biometric information

Medical fraud can have serious repercussions for the victims, including financial loss, identity theft, and unauthorized usage of sensitive health information data. To avoid these scenarios, it’s crucial to safeguard personal and medical information and watch out for any irregularities or suspicious activities related to healthcare services and billing.

What Can Hackers Do With Stolen Medical Records?

Hackers or identity criminals can exploit stolen medical records in various malicious ways due to the sensitive and personal nature of the information they contain. Here are some potential uses of stolen medical records:

  • Identity theft—By obtaining personal information such as names, addresses, SSNs, and insurance details from medical records, hackers can assume the victim’s identity and carry out fraudulent activities
  • Medical fraud—Hackers can use stolen medical records to fraudulently bill insurance companies for services or medications that were never provided. This type of fraud can lead to financial losses for both individuals and insurance providers
  • Black market sales—Stolen medical records have a high value on the black market due to the wealth of personal information they contain. Hackers may sell these records to individuals or organizations involved in identity theft or other illegal activities
  • Extortion—Armed with sensitive health information, hackers may attempt to extort money from individuals or healthcare providers by threatening to expose their private medical conditions or histories
  • Medical identity theft—Hackers can use stolen medical records to obtain healthcare services under someone else’s name, potentially leading to incorrect diagnoses, incorrect treatment plans, and even life-threatening consequences for the victim
  • Targeted phishing attacks—With detailed knowledge about an individual’s health conditions and treatments obtained from stolen medical records, hackers may craft sophisticated phishing emails designed to deceive victims into revealing more personal information or downloading malware

What Do You Do if Medical Records Get Stolen?

If you suspect that your medical records have been compromised, you should take action immediately. Here are the steps to follow if medical record data gets lost or stolen:

  1. File a police report
  2. File a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  3. Inform your insurer
  4. Get copies of your medical records
  5. Notify the three major consumer credit bureaus
  6. Ask for corrections

File a Police Report

Initiating a legal trail is vital, as it provides a formal record of the incident that can be crucial in dealing with any future repercussions related to the theft. Contact your local police department, provide all available details about the theft, and ensure you get a copy of the report for your records.

File a Report With the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Reporting to the FTC can aid in investigating and mitigating fraud and identity theft incidents. Contact the FTC through the official website or by phone to file your report, and follow the guide on recovering from identity theft, which provides a personalized step-by-step recovery plan.

Inform Your Insurer

Your insurance company needs to be aware of the incident to monitor for any suspicious activities and claims made under your name. Contact your health insurance provider and inform them about the theft. Keep track of any correspondence and follow their guidance to secure your account.

Get Copies of Your Medical Records

Obtaining your medical records allows you to keep track of any unauthorized changes and ensure your future medical treatments are based on accurate information. Request copies from your healthcare providers and carefully review them for any discrepancies or unauthorized access.

Notify the Major Consumer Credit Bureaus

Criminals may use your stolen information to open new accounts or make purchases under your name, affecting your credit. Inform Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax about the theft and place a fraud alert or credit freeze on your account to prevent new accounts from being opened in your name without verification.

Ask for Corrections

Ensuring your medical records are accurate is crucial for receiving appropriate medical care and avoiding potential insurance issues. If you discover inaccuracies in your medical records, follow the healthcare provider’s protocol for disputing and correcting information, providing any necessary documentation to validate your claim.

How To Protect Your Medical Information

Protecting your medical information is imperative to prevent unauthorized access, safeguard your privacy, and ensure that your healthcare isn’t damaged by fraudulent activities. In an era where digital data breaches are progressively more common, employing a strategic approach to shield your medical information becomes even more pivotal. Below are five ways to secure your medical data:

  1. Be mindful of phishing scams and social engineering
  2. Utilize strong authentication methods
  3. Guard your health insurance card
  4. Secure personal devices
  5. Regularly monitor your medical records

Be Mindful of Phishing Scams and Social Engineering

To stay protected against online threats, familiarize yourself with the various forms of phishing emails and messages, which are often disguised as legitimate communications from healthcare providers or insurers. Always confirm the authenticity of communications requesting personal information by contacting the entity directly through a known, official contact method.

Utilize Strong Authentication Methods

Adopt robust and unique passwords for accessing healthcare portals and insurance websites. For a strong password, you should incorporate a blend of characters, numbers, and symbols. Enable MFA whenever available to add an extra layer of security and connect it with something you know (another password) and something you have (a mobile device or token).

Guard Your Health Insurance Card

Treat your health insurance card with the same level of caution as your credit card—avoid unnecessary sharing and store it securely. Be cautious about where and how you share insurance information online—always check if the platforms are secure and the sharing is genuinely required.

Secure Personal Devices

Outdated software is usually a weak link in cybersecurity, leaving you open to various cyberattacks, including ransomware, data breaches, malware, and more. Ensure that your personal devices’ (such as smartphones and computers) software and security features are always up-to-date to protect against vulnerabilities. Employ biometric or password protection on devices that store or access medical information to ensure that your data remains protected even if the device is lost or stolen.

Regularly Monitor Your Medical Records

Not scrutinizing your medical statements routinely provides room for medical fraud to thrive. To prevent the possibility of medical fraud, periodically check your medical records for any inconsistencies or unauthorized entries. Ensure you have up-to-date copies of your medical records to cross-reference information and spot any discrepancies.

For easier monitoring and full security, consider signing up for an identity protection service like FreeKick. With its comprehensive features, FreeKick will keep an eye on your personal information across various platforms and alert you to potential unauthorized use. If you have children, you need to be extra vigilant because the risk is high—a child’s identity is stolen every 30 seconds.

FreeKick offers continuous identity monitoring for adults and children so you can have peace of mind that your entire family is protected.

FreeKick—Reduce the Risk of Fraud With Identity Monitoring Services (Coming Soon)

A solution provided by Austin Capital Bank, FreeKick offers premium identity protection services that cover two adult parents and six children between the ages of 0 and 25. In addition to identity protection, FreeKick provides built-in credit building features specifically designed for children aged 14 to 25 to ensure your child gets a strong financial start early in life.

Identity Protection Services

FreeKick has a comprehensive set of features that provide ongoing monitoring and protection of both your child’s and your sensitive information. When you activate a FreeKick account, you’ll access all the following services:

Services for Adult Children and ParentsServices for Minor Children
Credit profile monitoring
Social Security number monitoring
Dark web monitoring for personal information
Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration
Lost wallet protection
Court records monitoring
Change of address monitoring
Non-credit (Payday) loan monitoring
Free FICO® Score monthly
FICO® Score factors
Experian credit report monthly
Credit profile monitoring
Social Security number monitoring
Dark web monitoring for children’s personal information
Up to $1 million identity theft insurance
Full-service white-glove concierge credit restoration
Sex offender monitoring—based on sponsor parent’s address

Parent-Sponsored Credit Building

Besides monitoring your identity, FreeKick offers parent-sponsored credit building, which automatically builds credit history for your children aged 14–25. With a strong credit history, your child can save over $200,000 throughout adulthood.

To set up a FreeKick account, follow these three easy steps:

  1.  Create a FreeKick Account—Visit FreeKick.bank and select a plan that suits your budget. On the dashboard, you can activate credit building for your child once they turn 14. If they’re minors, they can activate credit reporting once they turn 18 (19 in Alabama)
  2. Set It and Forget It—Once you’ve initiated credit building, FreeKick establishes a 12-month credit history for your child through a no-interest installment loan
  3. Keep Growing—After the initial 12-month term, you can continue improving your child’s credit or close the account and get your deposit back

After activating credit reporting, FreeKick will report a $1,000 credit account to all three major consumer credit bureaus:

  1. Experian
  2. Equifax
  3. TransUnion

FreeKick Pricing

FreeKick offers flexible pricing options, and both plans have FDIC insurance coverage of up to $250,000. Each plan covers identity protection for both parents and six children aged between 0 and 25. This means that by creating a single account with as low as a $1 deposit and a $149 annual fee, you’re securing your whole family from identity fraud. Or, deposit $3,000 that will be returned to you when you close your account and get FreeKick for free.

FDIC-Insured Deposit AmountAnnual Fee
$3,000$0 (Free)
$1$149

Protect your family from the identity theft risks associated with stolen medical records while creating a strong financial future for your children—sign up for FreeKick today.