Andy's Got Your Back on ER identity theft - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Got Your Back on ER identity theft

(WMC TV) - Identity theft can happen anywhere, especially where you least expect it.

Like in an emergency room after a nasty car accident.

"A woman behind the desk asked me for my Social Security number," said patient Beverly Tiernan. "My generation gives that freely, especially in a safe place like a hospital. She was giving my Social Security number, along with many other people's, to a bad ring of I-D theft."

Postal inspectors said the identity thieves began withdrawing money using Tiernan's personal information. The thieves used her information to create 11 separate accounts.

Inspectors said in all, they had stolen the identities of more than 300 people.

"The dollar loss was about $631,000," said U.S. Postal Inspector Ivan Ramirez.

Tiernan was lucky. Postal inspectors arrested the hospital employee who was selling Beverly's ID. Tiernan got her money back, as well as her good name.

You have a right to know a hospital's privacy policies and procedures. Ask to speak to an official who can explain those policies, patients' rights under those policies and how your personal information is properly collected and used.

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