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Ask the Chief: Follow a prescription for identity protection

Red Wing Police Chief Roger Pohlman

"Ask The Chief" allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Q: My neighbor was walking past my home on garbage day and told me I should peel the labels from my prescription medication bottle. Should I do this?

A: Yes, your neighbor is correct and you owe him/her a big thank you.Opioid prescription medication thefts are a big concern and you do not want to display anything that may indicate what you may have in your home.

When throwing away prescription containers remove the labels or black out your personal information so it is illegible. The same is true when throwing away medical documents with protected health information on them. I recommend shredding these documents instead of discarding them in the garbage or recycle bin.

Information about your prescription, dosage, dates filled, medical institute, prescriber reveal a lot about your medical history and it is worth protecting.

Why would someone want to steal information from your prescription bottle important?

Because identity thieves can use your information to obtain medical care, buy medication and submit fake billings to Medicare in your name.

Also, when medication is no longer needed, please dispose of the medication properly by placing it in the prescription drug drop box, available 24 hours per day at the Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center.

References

1. Medical Identity Theft: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0171-medical-identity-theft

2. Minnesota Statutes: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=609.527

3. Medical ID theft: www.fraud.org/medical_id_theft

Stay aware and stay safe! ​

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