- KrebsOnSecurity reports that an unusual number of physicians in a variety of U.S. states have been the victims of tax fraud this year. There is speculation that the crimes may be the result of a breach at "some type of national organization that certifies or provides credentials for physicians."
- Scott Colby, executive vice president of the New Hampshire Medical Society, has received reports from 111 doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in his state who have been victims of tax fraud this year.
- The trend appears to be national: Colby has heard similar complaints from other states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina and Vermont.
The trend appears to be targeting clinicians, according to Colby: “We’ve done a broadcast to all of the hospital systems in the state, and I have yet to receive one [victim] name from a non-clinician,” Colby told Krebs. “You would think if it was an HR or payroll issue that at least a couple of administrative, non-clinical folks would have been in the mix, but that is not the case.”
Although there was some initial speculation that the spike in tax fraud might have been related to the recent Medicare data release, according to Krebs, it is more likely part of a larger national trend, not necessarily one specific to doctors. The AMA's media relations coordinator, Robert Mills, confirmed with Krebs that the association is receiving reports from state medical societies that there appears to be a rising incidence of tax identity theft this year than in the past, but that the scheme appears to be targeting against professionals in general, not specifically physicians.