Consumers who keep personal information relatively secure at their homes are still victims of identity theft
. PC World revealed a hacker recently gained access to approximately 16,000 identities from U.S. Service members from file-sharing programs. However, according to a leading identity theft
agency, this only brushes the surface of a complex issue.
A summit hosted by the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the leading agency will offer attendants an inside scoop on the latest tactics to combat identity theft
. Identity theft
is an extremely costly issue. Hackers are able to use personal information, such as health insurance documents, and obtain treatment, services and prescriptions. In addition, it could be fatal. If a criminal alters the blood type of an individual's health record to satisfy their own health, this could be traumatic for the legitimate policy holder, Mike Prusinksi, senior vice president of corporate communications at the agency, said in a statement. "Identity theft
is a grave issue and we're committed to educating consumers and law enforcement about the growing risks," Prusinksi said. "From peer to peer file sharing programs, phishing, ATM skimmers and overlays, many thieves are stealing personal information because consumers don't know the warning signs. The free training we offer provides consumers and law enforcement the chance to play offense and not defense." According to a survey by accounting agency PricewaterhouseCoopers, 40 percent of doctors and clinics responded that they've caught an individual attempting to attain healthcare services with someone else's identity. In addition, medical theft is the most prevalent form of identity theft
as of late, as more than 1.4 million Americans were affected by the occurrence, costing individuals approximately $28 billion. James Koenig, director of health information privacy and security practice at PwC, said in a release that in most cases the security of IT departments is not at fault for released client records, rather an insider in the clinic offers healthcare information to a hacker, accidentally loses a computer device or mistakenly distributes records to a questionable third party. "Although paper-based health information breaches must now be disclosed under the breach notification provision under the HITECH Act, electronic data breaches occur three times more frequently and affect 25 times more people when they occur," Koenig said.