Identity Theft Beware of Medical Identity Theft

You surely know about the dangers of identity theft, where someone who has obtained some of your personal information, such as your Social Security number, uses that to get money (often yours) or credit. It can cause massive headaches, at the very least. There’s not just a single kind of identity theft, though. There’s one kind in particular that has been happening more often lately. You probably don’t know about it and you definitely should. It’s medical identity theft.

http://liarcatchers.com/identity_theft_investigation.html

The Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers about this growing danger, explaining medical identity theft thusly: “A thief may use your name or health insurance numbers to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, file claims with your insurance provider, or get other care. If the thief’s health information is mixed with yours, your treatment, insurance and payment records, and credit report may be affected.”

A growing problem

Here’s how much of a growing problem medical identity theft is: There’s a Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, or MIFA. And it has studied the matter, estimating that 2.3 million Americans were victimized by it in 2014, up almost 22% over 2013. That’s a lot of people — and a fast growth rate. Worse, along with the Ponemon Institute, MIFA has surveyed Americans, finding that among victims of medical identity theft, 65%, about two-thirds, ended up spending an average of $13,500 to straighten matters out. Victims also lost a lot of time — an average of about 200 hours spent trying to resolve their cases. Can it get any worse than that? Yup, it can: the folks at MIFA found that only 10% of those surveyed reached a “completely satisfactory conclusion of the incident.” And while about a fifth of victims suffered a decrease in their credit score, almost a third lost their health insurance.

Part of the problem likely stems from cyberattacks and security breaches at major corporations, when thousands or millions of people’s data is stolen in one fell swoop. That happened recently at America’s second-largest health insurer, Anthem, for example, and even more recently at Premera Blue Cross, based in Washington State. Premera Blue Cross’ breach is believed to affect 11 million members, and a Reuters report has explained that “the attackers may have gained access to claims data, including clinical information, along with banking account numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal data in an attack that began in May 2014 and was uncovered on Jan. 29 of this year.” See some potential problems? Right. (Anthem believes that medical information was not stolen in its breach that affected close to 80 million people.)

What to do

Fortunately, if you’re now quivering in fear, worrying about being victimized, know that you’re not completely powerless. There are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of falling prey:

Check your credit reports regularly for any strange unpaid bills that an identity thief might have generated. You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the three main reporting bureaus, and you can access those at AnnualCreditReport.com. To be strategic about it, you might space out your three annual copies, requesting one every four months, so that you’re getting information more regularly than once a year.

It also helps to know your Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act rights and to ask your healthcare providers if you can see your electronic health records, to check for errors — especially if you know or suspect that you’ve been victimized. Read your explanation-of-benefits statements from providers, too, to check for any fraudulent charges. Know that you can ask health plans and medical providers for an “accounting of disclosures,” too, which is a listing of who has received your records and what information they received. You should, by law, be able to get one copy per year from each provider.

Don’t give out your personal information to friends or family members so that they can access some medical care. The data from MIFA shows that about a quarter of victims had given identifying information to a friend or family member.

Be on the lookout for scams, such as if someone claims to work for a healthcare company and offers you some services for free or for a too-good-to-be-true price, requiring your Social Security number or other personal data.

If you find that you’ve been victimized — and it can take several months for someone to notice, perhaps after receiving an unexpected bill or a collections notice — report it. Many people don’t report medical identity theft. Reasons include being embarrassed (such as if they gave their information to a trusted person) or not knowing where to report it. You can report problems to your health care provider, your insurer, and federal and state authorities. You can also contact your local police department, your state Attorney General’s office, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Medical identity theft is a scary scam, but by taking certain steps, you may be able to either avoid it or minimize its damage, should it happen to you.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Cold Case Sex Offender Arrested in 1981 Sandpoint, ID Killing

A convicted sex offender who has been living in Sandpoint was arrested Friday in connection with the abduction and killing of a 6-year-old boy in California in 1981.

Kenneth Kasten Rasmuson, 53, is charged with murder. He was taken into custody at the Sandpoint Police Department, according to Sgt. Steven Chamberlain.

“He was arrested without incident,” Chamberlain said.

The charges stem from the disappearance and death of Jeffrey David Vargo of Anaheim Hills, Calif. The child was last seen on his bike near a fireworks stand in Anaheim on July 2, 1981.

http://liarcatchers.com/cold_cases.html

Vargo’s partially clothed body was discovered the following day at a construction site in Pomona, according to the Orange County Register. The child died of asphyxia as a consequence of strangulation, Pomona Police said.

Connie Vargo told the Register she is relieved the investigation led to an arrest in her child’s death.

“We have mixed emotions, Vargo said. “After 33 years, someone is finally caught. This person took so much of our lives and now that he’s been arrested, hopefully, justice will be served so he can’t hurt anyone else.”

Chamberlain said Sandpoint Police assisted with the surveillance of Rasmuson and the collection of DNA evidence.

“I’d rather not say,” Chamberlain said when asked how the DNA evidence was collected.

The investigation also included the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police from Anaheim and Pomona, in addition to the sheriff’s office in Los Angeles County and the Bonner County Prosecutor’s Office.

Rasmuson has been on the radar in Sandpoint since 2010, when he was registered as a violent sexual predator who took up residence at a home at 612 South Third Ave. Rasmuson’s relocation set the neighborhood on edge and because his home is near a small city park on the Pend Oreille River.

Rasmuson was convicted of two counts of forcible lewd conduct in Santa Barbara County, Calif., in 1981. He was convicted of kidnapping for the purpose of committing a sexual offense and forcible lewd conduct in 1987 in Los Angeles County, according to the Idaho State Police sex offender registry.

Rasmuson was released from the Atascadero State Mental Hospital in 2007 and was living in Lompoc, Calif., as of 2009, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. He later relocated to Federal Way, Wash., and Eugene, Ore., before moving to Sandpoint, published news accounts indicate.

Rasmuson has no criminal record in Idaho, according to the state supreme court’s data repository.

Rasmuson is expected to make an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Monday to determine bail and the status of extradition proceedings.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Accident Reconstruction Two Killed in Adair County Crash

Two people are dead and another is in the hospital after a wreck in Southern Kentucky.

The Adair County Coroner tells LEX 18 that the crash happened around 12:40 Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Kentucky 61 and the bypass. Authorities say a car driven by Frona Murrel was hit by an SUV that ran a stop sign. Gregory Norris, 29, was ejected from the car.  Tonya Lewis, 41, was entrapped.  Both Norris and Lewis were pronounced dead at the scene.

http://liarcatchers.com/accident_reconstruction.html

Authorities say Murrel is at UK Hospital in critical condition.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Missing Person 13 Year Old Teen of Miami, FL

Miami Beach Police are asking for the public’s help to find a missing teen who they consider to be in danger.

April Kayla Flores, 13, has been missing since Friday. She is considered to be a runaway case.

Police said she was punished by here mother and sent to her room. When her mother checked on her, she had left.

http://liarcatchers.com/missing_persons_investigations.html

Flores has cut herself in the past.

Posts on Instagram from her friends mentioned her possible interest in heading to Tampa as well as possibly harming herself.

Officers said Flores had been rebelling, getting into fights at school, hanging out with adult men and possibly drinking.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts call Miami Beach Police at (305)673-7945.

Miami Beach Police are searching for a missing teen considered to be in danger. (Source: Miami Beach Police)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Pedophile Tracking Mom Seeks Custody of Daughter Placed With Sex Offender Dad

A Bakersfield woman continues to try and regain sole custody of her 8-year-old daughter in an unusual child custody battle.

The girl is currently living with the father, 56-year-old Nicholas Elizondo, who is a registered sex offender.

Elizondo was convicted in 1995 after pleading no contest to one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

http://liarcatchers.com/pedophile_tracking.html

In June 2013, Elizondo traveled to Oklahoma to gain custody of his daughter, and after a lengthy battle, a judge awarded full custody of the child to Elizondo.

Since then, the girl’s mother, 50-year-old Lisa Knight, has been seeking to regain custody.

Knight has moved back to Bakersfield from Oklahoma, where Elizondo lives with his daughter.

In a court hearing on Friday, Knight made new allegations against her ex-husband. Knight said that during one night in January, she went to Elizondo’s house to check on her daughter. Knight said she looked through a window into a bedroom, where she said she observed Elizondo under the blankets in bed with the 8-year-old girl. Knight said she saw that Elizondo was in his underwear.

“I want my daughter protected,” said Knight in court.

The court-appointed attorney for the child, Stephanie Childers, objected to Knight’s claim of what she had witnessed. Knight said she reported the incident to police two days later.

“I object! This is the first time I’ve heard about this,” said Childers.

Knight also alleges Elizondo has neglected and failed to provide proper medical care for the child. The mother told the court the child has had constant urinary tract infections and that she has had to take the child to seek medical treatment.

Judge James Compton continued the case to April 21.

Compton said attorneys for Elizondo and for the minor needed time to receive and review police and medical reports made as a result of the new allegations made by Knight.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Missing Person Frances Ann Wartenburg of St. Albans, WV

A family is still holding out hope in finding their missing loved one.

Frances Ann Wartenburg, 33, of St. Albans was reported missing on March 4, 2015.  She was last seen on February 21, 2015.

Wartenburg is of thin build, and is “short in height”, according to family members.  She has hazel eyes and dark brown, short hair.  Family members say she does not have her phone on her.

http://liarcatchers.com/missing_persons_investigations.html

A spokesman with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said they have some leads in this case, but cannot release them at this time.

In a news release, Cpl. Brian Humphreys said, “Anytime a person is missing for this length of time there is cause for concern.”

If you have any information on this case, you’re asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 304-357-0169.

Missing woman, Frances Ann Wartenburg

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Missing Person William Parish of Kissimmee, FL

Kissimmee police are looking for a 19-year-old man who may be in danger.

Officers responded to Family Health Care on West Oak Street Saturday morning in reference to a missing person.

http://liarcatchers.com/missing_persons_investigations.html

They said William Parish, 19, made comments to staff saying he wanted to harm himself, but ran away when he learned the staff was going to place him under the Baker Act.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Kissimmee police or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.

William Engelmann

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Wrongful Death Louisville Man Found Shot Dead in Car

A homicide investigation is underway in Louisville after a man was found shot dead in his car.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office said Alphonse Mesinor, 51, was discovered around 1 a.m. Saturday.

http://liarcatchers.com/wrongful_death.html

Mesinor was shot multiple times. He was parked near his South 12th Street home.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Wrongful Death Man Indicted in Deadly Madison County Wreck

A man has been indicted on a charge of murder in connection with a deadly crash in Madison County on New Years Day.

The Richmond Register reports Caleb Aldridge has also been indicted on charges of assault and driving drunk.

http://liarcatchers.com/wrongful_death.html

Deputies said Aldridge and two women were leaving a New Years party when the vehicle crashed into a ravine. Chelsea Harnack, 22, was killed.

Family members of Aldridge originally told LEX 18 that Harnack was the driver. Investigators said they later determined Aldridge was actually the one behind the wheel.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment

Private Detective: Man Shot While Protecting Girlfriend’s Daughter From Abduction

A man is in the hospital after he was shot and pistol whipped while trying to protect his girlfriend’s daughter after two men broke down the family’s door Saturday morning.

Authorities say two black males kicked in the door to the family’s home on North Upper Street around 3:15 Saturday morning. Investigators say the intruders didn’t go after any possessions but went straight for the ten year old girl. Police are still trying to determine whether the boyfriend was shot before or after the intruders tried to take the girl. The boyfriend was able to fight them off and get the girl to safety. The family did not recognize the two men.

http://liarcatchers.com/contact.php

Police say they are looking for two black males, one heavy set and wearing a dark coat. The other suspect was possibly wearing a gray hoodie. Both men fled in a blue 2000 Chevy Impala.

Police say the boyfriend is at UK Hospital in serious but stable condition.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn
Posted in Private Investigator Lexington | Leave a comment