How Your Hospital Bracelet Leads To Identity Theft
Depending on the state, province, or country you live in, when you are hospitalized you receive a paper (or plastic) bracelet on your wrist. The bracelet is used to identify patients, but it also contains some personal info, such as name and birth date.
Unfortunately after getting discharged, most patients throw the bracelets in the garbage boxes outside their hospital rooms. What usually happens is that drug addicts go through hospitals, pretend they are visitors and look specifically for those bracelets in the garbage.
Then they go to a medical clinic with a minor ailment and get a prescription for medicine. Next, they go home, use wipeout to delete their name, the name of the medicine, and the doctor's signature. Then they photocopy the blank prescription form several times.
Addicts then write your name and your hospitalization number on it, and add the name of the drug they really want, e.g. Ridalin. They successfully present these prescriptions at several different drugstores, which are able to check the hospitalization number.
How to avoid:
Always shred everything that has your personal information on it, including these insignificant-looking bracelets.