(KUTV) There are very few places off-limits for identity thieves. They don’t really care how they get your information—even if you’re sitting in a hospital. One woman found that out the hard way.
“The dream was gone. Everything we worked for, gone,” Elsy, a victim of identity theft, says.
Elsy was devastated after discovering the money she and her husband had been saving for a new home had been stolen from their bank account.
“They got our personal information from the medical facility where my husband was getting treatment for leukemia,” she says.
While Elsy’s husband underwent chemotherapy, an employee of the medical clinic was stealing his personal information from his check-in forms.
“When we found out that money was gone, I dropped to my knees because it terrified me that everything was going to be gone,” Elsy explains.
“It’s rather heart wrenching that someone would take advantage of somebody in that condition,” says US Postal Inspector Frank Schissler.
US postal inspectors began investigating Elsy’s case and found there more than 35 other patients who had also had their personal information compromised.
“They feel violated I’m sure since their information was stolen, especially during such a vulnerable time in their lives,” Schissler says.
One way to stop the thieves like the ones in this case: always monitor your credit card statements and check your credit once a year. Also, be aware, “If you get a call from a hospital, bank or credit card company asking for your personal information do not give it out over the phone. Unless its’ a call you initiated they shouldn’t be asking for that information they should already have that information,” Schissler says.
This story has a happy ending; authorities were able to recover Elsy’s money.
“My husband and I are good, we have a home and he hit the cancer free mark, and we have our 6th grandchild on the way. We’re doing great,” Elsy says.
Four people were prosecuted in this case—the hospital employee, his nephew, his nephew’s girlfriend and that girlfriend’s neighbor. Only the nephew has been sentenced. He’ll be behind bars for the next five years.
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