Keeping Your Personal Information Safe at Clinics and Hospitals

Chad Silber

There's ample proof that that are few places off limits for identity thieves. Some have no shame.

"The dream was gone, everything we worked for, gone," said Elsy. She was devastated after discovering the money she and her husband were saving for a new home had been stolen from their bank account. "They got our personal information from the medical facility where my husband was getting treatment for leukemia."

While Elsy's husband underwent chemotherapy, an employee of the medical clinic was stealing his personal information from his check-in forms.

"When we found out that money was gone, I dropped to my knees because it terrified me that everything was going to be gone," said Elsy.

"It's rather heart wrenching that someone would take advantage of somebody in that condition," added US Postal Inspector Frank Schissler.

Investigators found there more than 35 other patients who had also had their personal information compromised. A good piece of advice: Be careful what you sharing with someone, no matter who it is.

"Whether it be a doctor's office or a hospital, remember to ask what the social security number is being used for, what your date of birth is being used for, where those records are kept perhaps," said LPD Officer Erin Spilker.

Also, be aware.

"If you get a call from a hospital, bank or credit card company asking for your personal information do not give it out over the phone," said Schissler. "Unless its' a call you initiated they shouldn't be asking for that information they should already have that information."

This story has a happy ending; authorities were able to recover Elsy's money. "My husband and I are good, we have a home and he hit the cancer free mark and have our 6th grand child on the way and we're doing great."

Four individuals were prosecuted in this case. The hospital employee, his nephew who was sentenced to five years behind bars, the nephew's girlfriend and that girlfriend's neighbor.



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