To help protect your identity, you’re advised to shred papers related to your medical history. Medical identity theft is a very real danger and could happen to anyone.

The information in your medical records could allow a thief to take over your life and you don’t want to make it easier for them by not taking care of sensitive documents.

There are three types of medical-related documents you will want to shred:

1. Medical bills. Shed them after they’re paid and closed.

2. Insurance receipts. Keep them for your health savings account or for taxes, but then shred them.

3. Prescription information, including the sticker on the bottle.

All of these can have very sensitive information about you and your health, and in the wrong hands can lead to fraudulent use of victims’ medical insurance or Medicaid/Medicare benefits.

If your identity is stolen in this way, your medical history and the thief’s can become entangled. The Better Business Bureau warns this can lead to improper medical treatment and fraudulent medical billing. It can also open the door to further ID theft.

The BBB says this type of scam peaks in the fall. So, now is the time to protect yourself and shred those documents.