Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • Here’s how to avoid medical identity theft - Steps everyone can take to make sure tasks such as picking up prescriptions.
  • No VA loans for cannabis workers? - You’ll have to decide between one form of green or the other.
  • Free DNA test opens doors to identity theft - What will they think of next?
  • Stonington and Groton coalitions partner to prevent underage drinking through beverage server education - Need Age ID to complete it! 

Retail ID

“Medical identity theft can be even more damaging than standard identity theft,” said Sterling Price, health-care analyst at ValuePenguin, a financial website. “Criminals use your information to purchase costly medical services, which can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in damages and often take years to fix completely.”

Quest, one of the nation’s largest clinical laboratories, announced earlier this month that an unauthorized user gained access to the personal information — including Social Security numbers and financial data — of nearly 12 million patients.

Here’s how to avoid medical identity theft

Age ID 

Veterans in the cannabis industry are being denied because VA considers the cannabis industry incapable of being "stable and reliable,” according to a story in Roll Call, which first reported about the VA policy

The letter acknowledges that “the ambiguity under which the cannabis industry operates is unique,” and that lawmakers "fully understand the VA’s resulting aversion to legal and financial risk.”

But it goes on to say: “Denying veterans the benefits they’ve earned, however, is contrary to the intent Congress separately demonstrated in its creation of VA benefit programs.”

No VA loans for cannabis workers?

Retail ID

The latest is an offer for a free DNA test that supposedly can show whether you might get cancer or another disease, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.

This scam is showing up at health fairs and assisted living facilities, with the perpetrators claiming that the test is covered by Medicare. All you have to do is provide your Social Security number and Medicare card.

“With this information, scammers might obtain medical care using your name, sell the information on the dark web or commit other forms of identity theft,” the resource center says.

Free DNA test opens doors to identity theft

Age ID

Coalition staff and volunteers will be conducting outreach to local businesses as part of the project to provide them with education about the harms of underage drinking and give them materials to help them keep the community safe. Each participating business will receive a packet containing information about underage drinking prevention, tips on how to properly check IDs and reminders on the legal issues they could face if they serve underage. An optional pledge card will be available for the owner and employees to sign. Businesses are encouraged to tighten policies for their staff to ensure that they never serve to a minor and always pass state compliance checks.

Stonington and Groton coalitions partner to prevent underage drinking through beverage server education