I’m certain that you have heard how scary it is and how much time it takes to recover from identity theft and I am certain that seniors have heard the horror stories as well. I am here to tell you that with the proper bank personnel and help, there is time – although for a senior that may sound like their time is somewhat limited.
Once the theft is discovered, there are steps to follow in order to get the issues resolved.
First and foremost, in order to minimize losses and make certain that bills coming in can be covered, you will want to help your senior to contact their credit card companies and let them know that the purchases being made are not by them (most reputable credit card companies are aware of questionable activity these days and may even contact the senior first!). Their bank needs to be contacted as well as one of the three credit bureaus (only one needs to be contacted and you can help them decide which of the three they prefer as it is a requirement for one to contact the other two anyway). Then, it is beneficial to contact the local, state or federal law enforcement authorities to report the crime against your senior.
If credit cards have been misplaced, lost or stolen, call the fraud number of any one of the three national credit reporting agencies. They are:
- Equifax at 888.766.0008;
- Experian at 888.397.3742;
- TransUnion at 800.680.7289.
The sooner the contact to each of these agencies or organizations is made, the quicker the resolution can begin. Since identity theft seems even more serious when committed on a senior, the quicker the actions, the better the senior will feel.
I know on a personal note that identity theft can feel like you are drowning with your hands tied behind your back. I cannot imagine if it had happened when I was no longer working or able to provide myself with income to cover my expenses. This must be just terrible for a senior citizen. That is why I will do everything in my power to display that With Age Comes Respect and help the seniors in my care to stay worry free!