Very simply, I filled out standard new patient forms at my doctors office, one page contained all the info an identity thief needed to apply for loans and credit cards in my name. Name, address, phone, birth date, etc...
It happened 6 months before I ever knew my identity had been used to apply for loans.
It is still not over, the investigators notified me of the activity - just to confirm I did not apply for those loans(because there were many other victims), I still do not know if the thieves have been arrested, prosecuted, etc... and may never know.
No one knows where my info really is - perhaps they were amatures and this is the end of it or maybe they were professionals who sold my info and the new owners are just waiting until my fraud alert expires to try again.
It's worth it to be proactive in protecting your identity - before you give out your ssn, know who you are giving it to, why they need it and how they are going to keep it secure. Your doctor does not need your ssn, in fact a lot of folks who ask for it, don't really need it.
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