A Guide For Victims Of Identity Theft
Detailing What To Do And Who To Contact
Elder Abuse manifests itself in many forms – sexual, physical, emotional, and self-neglect. One form that looms as a pervasive problem in society but not often regarded as elder abuse is the financial exploitation of vulnerable elders. Here are some tips to secure your financial and personal information to prevent you from being a victim of cybercrime, fraud, and financial exploitation.
- NEVER carry your social security card.
- NEVER carry multiple credit cards.
- NEVER give personal information over the telephone.
- NEVER answer unsolicited email that requests personal information.
- ALWAYS review credit card and financial statements to verify accuracy.
- ALWAYS remove mail promptly from your mailbox.
- ALWAYS shred personal mail and information with scissors or shredder.
- ALWAYS stop mail while on vacation.
- ALWAYS make copies of all items in your wallet and keep with personal papers in a safe place.
- ALWAYS conduct online shopping with merchants with secure sites. A graphic (typically a lock) should appear in the bottom right corner of your browser bar and the site address should be preceded with https: the “s” signifies that you are using a secure site.
- ALWAYS have checks printed with initials only and no street address. Pick up your checks at the bank if possible.
Remove your name from telephone marketing lists by registering your phone number with the Federal Trade Commission’s National DO NOT CALL Registry. Call toll-free at 1-888-382-1222.
Request credit reports annually from all three reporting agencies at no fee by visiting the web at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228.
If you suspect identify theft:
Report it to local police and request a copy of the report. File a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) toll-free at 1-877-438-4338.
Immediately contact your bank and close affected accounts
Contact credit card companies.
Place fraud alerts on all accounts by calling toll-free the three major credit reporting agencies:
Equifax – 1-800-525-6285
Experian – 1-888-397-3742
Transunion – 1-800-680-7289
Remember to keep a detailed log of who you have contacted and copies of the correspondence.
A Florida Identify Theft Victim kit is available through the Florida Attorney General’s office and can be obtained by calling toll-free 1-866-966-7226 or at www.myfloridalegal.com. The kit provides all of the forms and information necessary to assist reporting and recovering from identify theft.
Improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets is elder abuse. If you or someone you know has been a victim of financial exploitation call the Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-963-5337 for assistance and resources. If you or someone you know has been subjected to physical, emotional, sexual abuse, or self-neglect, call the Elder Abuse Hotline (24 hours) toll-free at: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873) to be connected with professionals who will provide assistance. Remember, Florida Statute mandates everyone to report suspected abuse. Your call will be handled confidentially and professionally.
A Public Service Announcement from the Senior Connection Center, for the state-designated counties of Hillsborough, Manatee, Polk, Highlands and Hardee, funded in part by the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs.
Senior Connection Center is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity. We accomplish this by connecting seniors and their caregivers with the services they need.