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The perils of medical identity theft in the era of digital healthcare

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TrustCloud | The perils of medical identity theft in the era of digital healthcare

The digitisation of access to healthcare services is an improvement for patients and facilities, but it is also a cause for concern. Identity theft in this specific context has perilous consequences, given the sensitive nature of the information.


edical identity theft occurs when someone uses, for example, a person’s name or insurance information to receive free healthcare or file false claims. Although it is not the most common form of fraud (far behind bank or credit card fraud), it is one of the most serious in terms of the consequences it can cause. 

The amalgamation of personal, financial, and health information presents an enticing target for hackers, particularly in societies like the British with extensively privatized healthcare systems. 

In contrast to other forms of identity theft that focus on financial aspects, medical identity theft can directly affect the individual’s health: incorrect diagnoses, delayed appointments, inappropriate treatments, or inaccurate medical prescriptions are recorded in the victim’s records. 

TrustCloud VideoID improves patient onboarding with reliable and secure technology 

In these cases, criminals seek to gain access to sensitive medical information such as medical records, social security numbers, insurance information, and details about treatments. Recovering data after a medical identity theft is a complex process. In many instances, it can take years before those affected can fully restore their identity and regain normalcy. 

To enhance digital healthcare services and counter criminal activities, TrustCloud provides a straightforward solution tailored for patient identity verification. TrustCloud’s VideoID addresses these needs, facilitating the patient’s entry into any medical service in the safest manner. Request a demo now and steer clear of the consequences of medical identity theft. 

How cybercriminals access compromised information for identity frauds

  • Data breaches. Attackers exploit vulnerabilities to access databases storing confidential medical information, thereby exposing medical records for their benefit. In July 2023, HCA Healthcare, a U.S. corporate holding managing almost 200 medical centers, faced a class-action lawsuit due to a data breach affecting 11 million patients. The lawsuit alleged that HCA did not activate adequate security measures to prevent cyberattacks. Attackers used the information to defraud insurance companies and generate medical charges. 
  • Phishing. Phishing involves deceiving individuals into revealing confidential information by pretending to be trustworthy entities. Cybercriminals send fraudulent emails or text messages simulating legitimate medical organizations or health insurance providers. These messages contain malicious links redirecting victims to fake websites that collect personal information. Phishing can lead to obtaining compromised medical data, facilitating medical frauds, and other crimes related to individual privacy and security.  
  • Social engineering. This approach involves psychologically manipulating individuals to disclose sensitive data. For instance, attackers may make phone calls posing as healthcare professionals, insurance companies, or even government entities. Through persuasion and deception techniques, criminals aim to obtain valuable information. 

Tips to prevent medical identity theft 

  • Maintain secure passwords. Utilise strong and unique passwords for digital medical services, updating them regularly. 
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible or utilise alternative methods to enhance authentication, such as device-based identifications. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, like a code sent to your phone, in addition to the password. 
  • Physical documents. Keep health cards and other documentation in a secure place. Avoid carrying unnecessary sensitive information, as allowing others access to physical documentation could facilitate breaches of digital records 
  • Unsolicited communications. Exercise caution with unsolicited phone calls, emails, or text messages asking for medical or personal information. It is not advisable to disclose confidential information unless certain of the legitimacy of the request. 
  • Public Wi-Fi networks. Avoid conducting medical transactions or accessing sensitive information while connected to public Wi-Fi networks. When necessary, use secure and protected connections, such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN). 
  • Digital health services. Access through verified platforms: Access only through verified websites and trust exclusively in services associated with technology providers specialized in digital identification, fraud experts, and private data management. 

Emerging technologies for the protection of digital verification processes 

Explore some of the latest technological advancements to strengthen security in digital health and reduce the incidence of medical identity theft. 

  • Blockchain. Medical records stored on a blockchain can be more secure against manipulations and unauthorized access. Patients can also have more direct control over their medical data. 
  • Biometric authentication. Biometric solutions, such as facial, iris, or voice recognition, offer more robust authentication methods. Biometrics help verify the identity of users uniquely and hardly replicable, adding an additional layer of security to digital health systems. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI):.AI is being used to analyse large datasets and detect unusual patterns or anomalies in user behaviour that could indicate attempted fraud. 
  • Encryption technologies. Advanced encryption technologies help ensure that confidential information remains secure during transmission and storage, even in the event of security breaches. 

Processes of digital identification should always be tailored to the specific needs of users. TrustCloud VideoID adds multiple layers of security to the patient verification process. The system’s efficiency, supported by specialised agents (in assisted mode) and complete integration, significantly simplifies procedures, preventing data breaches and identity theft. By perfecting access, users can confidently check their history, modify an appointment, or use any other option in their digital health service without risk. 

Contact our fraud experts and enhance your patient identity verification now

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