Rapper DMX arrested for Medical Identity Theft

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Rapper DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was arrested in a Phoenix mall Saturday and charged with identity theft in relation to a hospital visit, police said.

Simmons gave a false name and Social Security number to a hospital to get out of paying for medical expenses.

According to the Associated Press, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that DMX went to Scottsdale's Mayo Clinic in April, under the name "Troy Jones" and then he failed to pay a $7,500 bill, worth of medical care for pneumonia.

The rapper's attorney, Cameron Morgan, declined to comment on the matter.


There are two facets to medical identity theft; one is financial and the other involves your health care. Medical identity theft happens when a thief uses your social security number or health insurance to obtain medical services and health care benefits -including prescriptions, without your knowledge. Medical identity theft can carry with it damaging, far-reaching effects. Not only is medical id theft hard to detect, it is even more difficult to correct than the more commonly recognized -financial identity theft. 

Victims of medical identity theft have found their medical histories contaminated with false diagnosis, billings for surgeries they never had, prescriptions they never received and bogus allergies and blood type notations -all services and notations that belong to someone else -the thief!

What to Watch For:

  • When you receive a notice from your insurance company, open it immediately. If you receive any notices for treatment that you don't recognize -dispute with your insurance company. After reading these notices, make sure you shred them before throwing them in the trash. Closely review your "explanation of benefits" statements.


  • Check your credit report regularly. If you find medical bills on your credit reports that you don't recognize, dispute them with the credit reporting agencies and notify your insurance company.


  • If you receive mail from hospitals where you have or haven't been a patient, don't assume that this mail is junk mail and throw it away. It could be a notice of a data breach or data theft. If you get this type of notice, you should notify the Credit reporting agencies and have fraud alerts placed on your credit file.
If you're a victim
If you think you're a victim of medical identity theft:

•Contact your health provider and your insurer. Most insurers have anti-fraud hot lines staffed by experts who can talk you through what to do. Typically, they will request a new insurance card for you and have a watch put on your old one.

•File a police report.

•Correct erroneous and false information in your file. Sending copies of a police report to insurers, providers and credit bureaus may be a step in cleaning up the problem.

•Take detailed notes. Write down the name and contact information of everyone you speak to.

Where to get help
www.patientprivacyrights.org: Patient Privacy Rights is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Deborah Peel. The organization is dedicated to ensuring Americans control all access to their health records.

www.healthprivacy.org: This Web site has information on health privacy.

www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has information on medical privacy, including privacy provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

www.worldprivacyforum.org/medicalidentitytheft.html: The World Privacy Forum offers tips about what to do if you are a victim and links to other resources.


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