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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

When Seeking Medical Treatment, Prepare for the Unexpected

A trip to the doctors office is scary for a lot of people. Generally, this fear is irrational, as a check-up or routine physical should be a beneficial visit that instructs you on how to stay healthy. However, doctors also are the ones who often have to break bad news to patients, confirming their greatest fears.

This was the case for Eric Drew, who in 2004 was staring down death after receiving the diagnosis that he had a terminal case of leukemia. For Drew, the fateful trip to the doctors office was horrifying for all the reasons one would expect after being subjected to a series of tests for a life-threatening disease. What Drew didn't expect he'd have to be wary of when visiting the doctor was identity theft.

When at your weakest, identity thieves can do the most harm
Drew was deep in the throes of cancer treatment when an identity thief took advantage of his bleak outlook. Things weren't going well for Drew, as doctors were resorting to experimental treatments to battle the life threatening virus. A hospital employee figured that since Drew was on the verge of expiring, the thief could easily get away with opening up a line of credit under Drew's name.

Those who should be helping may be causing more harm
The imposter contacted Bank of America and Chase Bank by phone, and was able to open up accounts without ever having to verify that Drew was actually the applicant. For over two years of treatment, this hospital worker was able to destroy Drew's credit score, as the banks continued to record the fraudulent activity on his credit report.

Though the battle for your health may be over, the fight for your identity may only just be starting
Thanks to the experimental procedure, Drew made a miraculous recovery and was eventually cancer free. Even though Drew's health had improved greatly, his credit was in ruins.

He disputed the fraudulent activity on his credit report with the banks, but both refused to remove it from his record. Because of this, Drew was unable to receive a mortgage, and live the life he fought so hard for to the fullest.

By enrolling in a credit monitoring program, situations like this could potentially be avoided. Although Drew was able to come back from the brink of death, he had other battles to fight to bring himself back to fiscal health.