Healthcare patients become identity theft victims

The Internal Revenue Service notified 77 patients at Emory Healthcare that they may have unknowingly become victims of identity theft this week.

The IRS was able to identify the scheme when the Social Security numbers or patients were used to fraudulently file income tax returns with the agency.

quot;It was a theft of information," Emory spokesman Jeffrey Molter told The Atlanta Constitution-Journal.

As a result, more than 2,400 additional patients at The Emory Clinic's Orthopaedics department were offered increased identity theft protection to ensure their information is not compromised, the news source says. In addition, authorities encouraged victims to put fraud alerts on their credit reports.

During tax season, consumers may want to be more vigilant about credit fraud and identity theft, as they are capable of causing an individual to incur bad credit. However, individuals may take a number of steps to protect themselves, including checking their credit reports and contacting a credit lawyer to help them with investigations and disputes.