The New Identify Theft – Medical Fraud

Identity theft is a very big problem and growing larger daily. Most people are concerned about credit card theft and use of debit cards. However there is an even bigger problem; medical-related fraud.

Any type of identity theft usually ruins your credit rating and makes you liable for large bills that you didn’t create. You get caught up in a web of false information that will plague you financially and medically for years to come.

Medical theft causes even more problems. If someone steals your medial insurance cards and goes to the doctor or hospital, receives services, maybe even surgery, they have created a huge problem for you.

One: You don’t find out until later, usually when the bill gets turned over to collection agency that you own a huge hospital and/or doctor bill.

Two: Your credit report takes a devastating hit.

Three: Your medical history is now altered; this can affect future insurance premiums.

Four: Whatever procedure, or diagnosis they received are now part of your medical history.

Five: Your insurance benefits may be maxed out, meaning that when you need medical care or surgery you may find that you are uninsured.

Six: You may experience being refused insurance because of pre-existing conditions you don’t have

Seven: You may at risk for inaccurate treatments because another person’s allergies, and medications may be listed on your medical records.

How to Defend Yourself:

  • The best way to defend yourself is do take steps to prevent medical identity theft in the first place.
  • Take care of your insurance card. Guard it the same as you do your identification card, credit and debit cards
  • Examine every Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements that you get. Verify that each doctor and test are ones that you actually received. Also since the thief may use a false address be sure to ask for a summary of your EOB’s at the end of each year.
  • Check your credit reports regularly
  • Stay away from free health fairs or screenings, if they ask for your insurance information.

What to Do If Suspect a Crime:

  • Act Fast
  • Request a copy of your medical records-even if you have to pay for them
  • Do not mention the possibility of Fraud to your doctor. If it gets put on the record that your information is mixed up with another person’s information, privacy law will come into play. This means that your records will be kept confidential, even to you.
  • If you confirm fraud tell the authorities.
  • Call 1-877-IDTHEFT to report the situation.

In summary, guard your insurance information carefully, treat Identity Theft as seriously as it is.

The Differences Between Theft and Robbery

Colloquially, robbery and theft are often referred to as if they were more or less the same thing. A robber and a thief both take things that are not theirs, and thus these words can be used interchangeably most of the time. Legally, however, robbery and theft are different crimes with very different punishments. Let’s look at these laws in more detail.

Theft

This is actually a broad term referring to any occurrence when a piece of property is taken without its owner’s permission. It is usually classified as a crime against property, along with property damage and arson. Theft is prosecuted on the state level, with a few exceptions. Because Congress has the constitutional right to control interstate commerce, which has been interpreted very broadly over the years, some acts of theft that affect the interstate economy can be tried on the federal level.

In the US, most state governments use the term larceny in their criminal code because it is more specific. The word “theft” can cover looting, robbery, mugging, shoplifting and a wide variety of other offenses. Larceny, on the other hand, refers to the very specific act of physically moving an object that belongs to someone else, without their permission, and with the intent to deprive the person of that object permanently. It does not matter if the person committing larceny intends to keep the object for their self, but it does matter if they are only temporarily borrowing the object.

Larceny can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the total monetary value of whatever objects were stolen. In Wisconsin, for example, stealing objects or money worth up to $500 is a misdemeanor. Any amount more than that is a felony, with the class increasing with the value of the stolen property.

Robbery

Legally, this term refers to the act of taking property away from its owner through the use of violence or intimidation. Unlike theft, the owner of the property must be present as it’s being taken, or else the crime does not qualify as robbery. This crime is always a felony, although the class varies depending on the amount and type of force used.

If a person physically assaults or threatens another without using any kind of weapon in order to steal anything, this is a Class E felony, and can be punished by up to 15 years in prison. Additional years may be added if the convicted person is a repeat offender. A person who steals property while using a dangerous weapon, such as a gun, has committed a Class C felony, punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Again, more years can be added for prior convictions.

For more information about the legal distinctions between different crimes, contact Milwaukee theft defense attorneys Kohler & Hart.

Vigilante Justice – When the Law Fails

People take the law for granted, until it fails. We assume that the man who steals our car or breaks into our house will be prosecuted and punished. What happens when that assumption is no longer valid? When the law fails to protect the citizens and punish the lawbreakers?
The small town of Skidmore, Missouri found out on July 10, 1981, when Ken Rex McElroy was shot to death as he sat in his pickup on the main street of town. McElroy had waged a twenty-year reign of terror over all of northwest Missouri, getting away with almost every crime in the book: rape, arson, kidnapping, burglary, theft, assault, you name it. The law seemed powerless to stop him; witnesses changed their stories; judges recused themselves from his cases; prosecutors dismissed indictments; the town marshal resigned.

I told the story of McElroy’s reign of terror, his shooting, and the ensuing silence by the numerous witnesses to the murder in the book In Broad Daylight, which was published by HarperCollins in 1989, and which won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and was made into a movie starring Brian Denehey. I revisited the story in a twenty-five year anniversary edition of the book published by St. Martins Press in December 2006. This edition contains startling new information on the killing and the identity of the killers.

It is not surprising that after all this time the witnesses to the killing still have not talked about what they saw that hot July morning. You might hear them say something like “McElroy needed killing,” and what they mean is that the town believed it had no choice but to take the law into its own hands. In their view, the town had returned to the lawlessness of the frontier days, when individuals undertook their own protection at the end of a barrel. Indeed, McElroy was stalking, with a weapon, several witnesses who were scheduled to testify against him in a bond revocation hearing the next week.

You can argue whether what happened that day was morally right or wrong. On Larry King Live, King opined that taking a life outside the law was never the right thing to do. Others argue that it should have happened long before it did.

Behind the discussion is a very basic principle of civilized society, a contract between the government and its citizens: you give up the right to enforce the law and punish lawbreakers in exchange for the government’s promise to do it for you. Put your weapons away and the government–in the form of the criminal justice system–will protect you.

In general, when one party fails to a contract fails to live up to his obligations the other party is released from his promise. If the government cannot protect me, I am entitled to protect myself. If the law t cannot protect the town, the town is entitled to protect itself, to “take the law into its own hands,” as the saying goes. It’s a scary notion in many ways, and it certainly sets a dangerous precedent, in effect allowing individual citizens to decide when they are entitled to engage in “self help.”

One of the most intriguing aspects of the story was the very fragile nature of what we call law and order. We might think that the criminal justice system is rooted in reality through law and courts and cops; the fact is, the criminal justice system is rooted in perception. Once the people no longer believe that it works, it no longer works. If witnesses no longer believe the law can protect them, that it can catch and punish the lawbreakers, they won’t come forward to testify. Cops won’t put their lives on the line. Citizens won’t go to their neighbors’ aid.
In the last few weeks of his life, McElroy had reduced the town of Skidmore to a community where it was every man for himself. When McElroy fired his shotgun over a house in the middle of the night, the neighbors turned away. McElroy, of course, finally pushed the town to far. When the people, with good reason, lost their faith in the system, when they felt exposed and vulnerable to the raging of a violent sociopath, they undertook to solve the problem themselves, they exercised the fundamental right of self-protection.

If there is a lesson to be learned in this cautionary tale, it’s that the criminal justice system in the end is about protecting the citizens and when the citizens fail to perceive that the system is doing its job the descent into lawlessness is rapid and certain.

Credit Repair Law – When Ever Identity Theft Strikes

Credit repair law is usually a highly important topic for most individuals to be aware of, specially those who have happen to be victimized via identity theft. Identity theft is actually a crime in which just one person or even a team of people steal some other individual’s identification for their very own financial gain. These people might get out loans in this individual’s name and / or steal significant data files off their particular pc. Identity theft is definitely a terrifying crime as well as it happens all around the entire world.

Men and women seriously need to figure out just how problematic a crime this specific is, and also if you’re at any time made a victim of identity theft you’re going to need to understand regarding credit repair law. Credit repair law is usually the law referred to which will requires precisely what happens to the perpetrator and victim of the particular crime. It determines exactly what happens to the criminal of the crime and even the victim. You might want to get started with the help of a credit repair specialist, a pro who’s going to be able to appropriately assess your current situation.

Recently there will be a very few things you could do on your own that may help you restore your credit score. This is going to take time for the reason that unfortunately there is no miraculous spell which may get it back quickly for you. Specially considering a few victims of identity theft have been taken for thousands and thousands of bucks, this particular can be some thing that you’re going to need to work at. Just ensure that you communicate to each and every one of your debtors.

You would like to let them know that you’re a victim of identity theft as well as that the particular financial debt racked up was definitely not even by you. Even while you are still going to owe this money, at least they are much more likely to be lenient with you if these people know that you just have really been a victim of this sort of a horrible criminal offenses. They will be going to be much more lenient and understanding if ever they will know you’ve been a victim of this nasty criminal offense. Debt consolidation loans can even be very helpful, to get all your debtors paid off after which you only have a unique credit to be concerned about each and every 30 days.

This loan will take on just about all of all the various debts you owe and consolidate all of them down into a single loan. This can be incredibly difficult to have to go through however at least you realize you can certainly restore your credit scores and finally have got it back wherever it had been to begin with. Then you will be able to focus much more on your financial situation and also making sure that you’re promptly with payments. Its essential to possess good credit and even immediately after going through a horrifying criminal offense like identity theft you have to have to try and so get back again on good track.

The Fight Against Computer Crime

Computer technology has attracted its fair share of criminal activities from those looking to exploit and capitalise on people’s reliance on the computer to run their daily lives. After all, author Jolly John singled Singapore out for being ‘the most network-ready country’, signifying both our dependence on new-age technology and the capabilities of the talent we have. However, there are dire consequences to be dealt with should the intentions of those with the ability to manipulate the systems deviate to malice.

In their efforts to safeguard against computer crime, the Singapore Government has set up various measures through a multi-pronged approach. The first step is to keep up governing laws with the fast changing developments of technology and the opportunities for dismeanour it presents by passing new legislation. Singapore passed the Computer Misuse Act in 1993, which has since been amended four times.

The Computer Misuse Act punishes perpetrators of computer crime, rather than cyber crime. Computer crime refers to crimes against a computer through acts that attack a computer system. The Act covers unauthorised access to a computer, or computer material without authorisation, modifying the contents of a computer without authorisation, obtaining or intercepting any computer service or function, interfering with or obstructing the lawful use of a computer, impeding or preventing access to or impairing the usefulness or effectiveness of any computer program or data, or disclosing a password, access code, or other means of gaining access to a program or data. To take just the first example, any person who uses a computer to secure access to another computer without authorization shall be guilty of an offence.

On the other hand, the existing Penal Code governs cyber crime, which is traditional crime like fraud, theft or extortion abetted through the computer. As opposed to carrying out crime against a computer, perpetrators carry out their illegal acts through the computer.

Through the Computer Misuse Act, the law punishes and deters computer criminals by meting out harsh penalties including imprisonment and fines. Crimes targeting the bedrock of our nation’s critical industries like banking and finance, communications or transportation and public services warrants the harshest punishment – a fine up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment up to 20 years. It is also noteworthy that a Court can order compensation to be paid by the offender for any damage that is caused, and such compensation which is ordered does not prevent or restrict a civil claim for damages which exceeds the compensation amount.

The next step it has taken is to set up agencies that ensure the enforcement of these laws. These specialised agencies include the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team, Computer Crimes Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Computer Forensics Branch of the Singapore Police.

Operated by professionally-trained tech experts, they can exercise their power with extra-territorial jurisdiction. They are trained in all aspects of computer investigation, one of which is the emerging field of computer forensics. This intricate process of investigation enables the retrieval of consequential data from computers, computer networks, data storage media and related equipment that may contain evidence which can be presented in court. They first analyse the data and meticulously document and preserve the evidence to be presented before court. This operation requires highly trained professionals as it involves delicate procedures where a single wrong move can destroy or modify the evidence.

If one suspects a breach but don’t want to bring it directly to the authorities, there is the option of approaching private forensic investigators like Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC). Due to the increase in violations of the Computer Misuse Act, ADRC has set up a forensic investigation department to deal with the influx of such investigative requests.

With more than 10 years of experience in the data recovery market, ADRC is well equipped with certified computer forensic experts who are capable of securing and documenting digital evidence with full audit trail suitable for court submission and performing data recovery under all adverse situations. They also have their own class 100 clean laboratory. Without having to move evidence around, this minimizes the risk of evidence being contaminated.
Computer users should also adopt preventive measures to safeguard their computers against computer crime, which is a very real threat that has the potential to be even more damaging given our reliance on computers these days.
Adroit Data Recovery Centre (ADRC) Pte Ltd is South East Asia’s leading data recovery centre equipped with the first Class 100 clean laboratory in Singapore. It has an un-paralleled capability and the setup to acquire and collect the digital evidence from all kinds of working or damaged media while observing the strictest process of computer forensic investigation.

The team of qualified forensic experts is able to provide court-ready reporting of digital evidence for civil and criminal litigation through the installation of rigorous forensic methodologies in order to identify, acquire, preserve, analyze and document digital data (electronically stored information) for use as evidence in court or other legal or administrative proceedings.