State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) is urging his constituents to be vigilant against identity theft, particularly in light of the rising number of scams that go after a person’s medical identity.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, about a quarter of all identity fraud related cases in 2018 were medical and insurance-related identity theft. If your medical identity is stolen it can be used to steal expensive medical services, prescription drugs, to procure medical devices or equipment, to falsify insurance claims, or to acquire government benefits like Medicare and Medicaid.
“Having your identity stolen is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It takes a toll not only financially, but emotionally as well,” Rep. Stephens said. “I’m joining my fellow representatives in the House in calling for Illinois to do more to crack down on a rising scam industry involving medical fraud.”
Rep. Stephens is pushing for legislation like House Bill 1656, to add medical and health insurance information to the definitions of identity theft in the Illinois Criminal Code. The legislation passed the House this past spring, but stalled in the Senate.
In the meantime, Rep. Stephens is hosting an informational identity theft prevention and protection workshop to help residents understand the ins and outs of identity fraud. The seminar will be at 6:30pm on Tuesday, October 17th at the Eisenhower Public Library in Harwood Heights. It will be taught by representatives from the Illinois Comptroller’s office and will cover how to avoid scams, protect your sensitive personal information, and what to do if you find yourself a victim.
Rep. Stephens continued, “I highly encourage my constituents to come out for this incredibly informative seminar to learn how to avoid becoming a victim; especially seniors who are most vulnerable to these underhanded consumer scams.
What: ID Theft Seminar
When: Thursday, October 17th 6:30pm
Where: Eisenhower Public Library, 4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights