The new Medicare scam that could be stealing your identity 34



View Profile

A new scam alert has been issued following the discovery of a scam involving Medicare account holders and their identities across three states.

The sophisticated scam has been reported by ABC this afternoon and it is believed the scammers are setting up fake accounts using stolen identities obtained through Medicare records.

New South Wales Police are investigating the theft of personal details from Medicare records and now an identical scam has emerged in the Northern Territory.

The loss so far recorded by Department of Human Services is estimated to be over $30,000. The first inkling of a scam came via Darwin doctor Sam Heard who discovered his personal details had been stolen. A false bank account was set up in his name soon after he visited the Royal Darwin Hospital’s emergency department just last month, as shock for the doctor who had not used his Medicare card for 10 years.

Dr Heard had a suspicion something was very wrong when he received a letter from Medicare saying they were going to deposit $2,000 into an account he had never seen before.

The ABC reports NSW victims have reported up to nine false bank accounts being opened in their names using personal details taken from their Medicare records. This adds to the total of 369 cases of potential identity theft from Medicare records in the last two years.

Labor senator Doug Cameron is demanding the government do more to secure the medical network and bring attention to the issue.

“The information I have is that this is a national problem,” Senator Cameron said.

“The Government is not responding to this effectively. The Minister is downplaying the issue, the department’s downplaying the issue and I don’t think this is an issue that should be downplayed.”

The Department of Human Services and the NSW Police have said they are working together at this stage.

It’s unclear yet what everyday Australians can do to ensure their Medicare records are safe other than ensure they are seeing a trusted doctor with a legitimate Medicare system and not leave personal belongings or even letters from Medicare in the open.

Tell us, does this latest scam have you worried?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Oh don’t even tell me that I have enough problems with Medicare, when my son was born they put him on my card, meanwhile 43 years later he still has the same number and we have both tried repeatedly to get it changed so he has his no avail

  2. You can get a credit check done. Do an Internet search. There is a government site that does it and it for free and it takes about a week. Alternatively you can get it done privately and quicker but you need to pay. The government site lists the genuine credit check companies.

    1 REPLY
    • care to advise / post the website address here ? thanks if you would.

      1 REPLY
      • if it’s veda or someone like that – I have in previous years requested my ‘free’ credit report several times – and – never – received a reply. So if you’ve found one that actually does it in short order I’d love to know which one it is !

  3. I had a phone call last Friday from a Indian speaking person saying he was from Optus and wanted my Medicare number so he could give me a discount on my home phone account he got quite nasty when I refused to hand it over to him,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *