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Health care professionals victimized by identity fraud

According to government and industry officials, many health care professionals across the country have been victimized by identity theft.

The number of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and dentists, targeted by identify theft schemes has increased this year. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, "It is incredible. The scope and size are appalling and astonishing ... We're talking about hundreds (of doctors) nationally and tens of millions and maybe hundreds of millions of dollars."

Blumenthal is urging the Secret Service and IRS to put more time into solving these types of crimes.

At this time, the American Medical Association is unsure of how many health care professionals have been impacted by tax fraud. That being said, hundreds of cases have been confirmed in many states, including North Carolina, New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana, and Connecticut.

Many are guessing that the number has reached a few thousand nationwide, with the chief executive of the Connecticut Medical Society saying, "Identify theft is a problem, but I have never heard of this level of fraud of any kind that is focused so predominantly on physicians. We are hearing about thousands of tax frauds against physicians. There has to be some connection."

This story goes a long way in showing that fraud is a major problem throughout the United States, which includes Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. In this case, health care professionals are being targeted by identity fraud related to false tax refunds and returns. This year, this type of fraud has become more common and those behind the schemes may eventually be caught and put through the legal system.

Source: Star Tribune, "Doctors across US victimized by identity fraud involving false tax returns, refunds" Dave Collins, May. 08, 2014

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