A 25-year-old woman is in the Pinellas County Jail for using a stolen ID in an attempt to get medical services.
According to the Tarpon Springs Police Department, Amanda Catlin gave the ID to staff at Florida Hospital North Pinellas after giving birth to a child.
"It's the fastest growing crime in the country right now," Officer John Ulrich with Tarpon Springs Police said while referring to identity theft in general. "Anything they can obtain services with, they'll use your ID to do so."
"It literally just hit me like a ton of bricks," Craig Murdock of Wisconsin said.
Murdock was attempting to buy a home with his wife when they realized his credit wasn't as good as expected. Someone had received a heart procedure using his identity.
"'It's not me!' That's all I could keep saying," he said.
One study shows two million people in the United States have been victims of medical ID fraud.
The crime can ruin your credit and cause major problems with your medical records, meaning your care could suffer when you receive medical treatment.
Police said the best thing to do is catch the fraud early:
- Keep your eye out for medical bills
- Check your credit card statements
- Check your credit report
Florida Hospital released this statement to ABC Action News:
At Florida Hospital North Pinellas, our number one priority, as always, is the safety health and wellness of our patients. It’s our standard to obtain as much proper identification as available during the admitting process, including name, date of birth, driver’s license and insurance information. Any concern of false identity regarding a patient in our care is immediately reported to the appropriate authorities, which is exactly what happened in this case. This is an active investigation and we are currently working with the Tarpon Springs Police Department.