The latest research and identity theft trends indicate significant patterns. Patterns that can help consumers and businesses mitigate their risks against identity theft. One of these trends points to the unfortunate potential that senior identity theft is going to get significantly worse.
Based on the first half of this year – where 11 of the largest 13 data breach events occurred at medical or healthcare organizations (please see here) affecting nearly 24 million healthcare-related records.
And we believe senior identity theft and fraud will get significantly worse in 2020.
When you think about lost or stolen Personally Identifiable Information (PII), most people think about:
- credit card information,
- bank account information,
- taxpayer identity theft and refund fraud,
- utility identity theft and fraud, and
- credential identity theft such as driver’s license or passport fraud.
Healthcare is a Target
According to Protenus, a healthcare compliance analytics company, (please see here) this healthcare industry data breach pattern includes 503 incidents affecting nearly 15.1 million patient records in 2018 and 477 data breaches affecting 5.6 million patient records in 2017.
Very few people think about medical identity theft in general and senior identity theft in particular. Click here to read about how ID Theft Increases Stress and Fatigue
However, when the collections firm American Medical Collections Agency (AMCA) – which services laboratories, hospitals, physician groups, billing services and medical providers throughout the United States – experienced a data breach including Labcorp affecting 7.7 million patients and Quest Diagnostics affecting 11.9 million patients, we have to wondered how safe and secure all American consumer billing records really are?
The Senior Population
Another interesting statistic comes from the 2019 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book where 39% of fraud complaints and 15.9% of identity theft complaints impacted seniors (60 years or older) in 2018 (please see here).
If you add the mature market (50 – 59 years of age), the “Identity Theft Reports by Age” from the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network shows a three year average of 36% of identity theft victims were 50 years and older.
There were “only” 14.4 million identity theft victims in 2018, a drop from the record-breaking 16.7 million victims in 2017. But it is estimated that out-of-pocket fraud costs for victims more than doubled in 2 Years to $1.7 billion.
The FTC report also showed that younger people reported losing money to fraud more often than older people. Older people lost nearly twice the amount to fraud than the more frequently reported younger reports.
Nearly 50 million health-related records have been reported stolen from over 1,000 data breaches over the last 30 months. The statistics are staggering and will likely have an enormous, negative effect on seniors over the next couple of years.
Written by Mark Pribish – ID Theft Protection Expert
To learn more about Identity Theft Monitoring click here for the 14 features of Identity Theft Protection Monitoring and the Most Important Feature!