Medical Identity Theft, Mapped by city

This World Privacy Forum interactive map highlights the location of all medical ID theft complaints collected from 2008- Feb. 12, 2009 by the Federal Trade Commission.

How to use the map

Moving the cursor across the map reveals incident information by state and city. To zoom in, place the cursor and click The map will zoom centered on the cursor’s location. To zoom out, click the zoom out button.zoom

How to Interpret the Map

What does this map reveal? This map gives you the ability to look interactively at approximately one year of medical identity theft activity in the US, based on FTC complaints.

Where is this information from? The WPF Interactive Medical ID theft map is a listing of medical identity theft incidents reported by consumers to the FTC. The WPF analyzed the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel incident reports to extract this data.

What do the red dots mean? The red dots are a visualization of the number of incidents of medical identity theft. The larger the dot, the more incidents were reported to the FTC.

What about accuracy? The WPF used solely the FTC Consumer Sentinel data to compile this map. This data is consumer-reported, and as such will not be a final, definitive picture of medical identity theft. Nevertheless, this map is an accurate picture of the consumer reports of medical identity theft.

What trends does this map reveal? This map reveals a strong geographic clustering of medical identity theft in Florida, California (especially southern California), New York, Arizona, and Texas. The WPF is publishing more materials on medical identity theft containing additional data for a greater span of years.

What is the bottom line of the meaning of this map? That is up to you. For the WPF, we see this map as one additional piece of information about the geography of a crime that is difficult to detect and analyze. Because the data is consumer reported, this map cannot serve as the basis for a complete view of the geography of this crime. But it does illuminate the consumer experience of this crime, dramatically so.

Where can I find more information? Please visit the WPF medical identity theft page for access to our reports, consumer tips, and FAQs about medical identity theft and consumer medical privacy.

This research was funded by the California Consumer Protection Foundation.