Identity Theft Information Senior Citizens
3 Bureau Credit Report:
Identity Theft and the Elderly
In the past few years Identity Theft in the United States has
increased dramatically. The American Bankers Association estimates
that businesses have lost approximately $15 to $18 billion annually
from identity theft among all age groups, and the elderly are some
of the hardest hit. According to the Federal Trade Commission,
elderly victims of identity theft increased by 200% between 2000
to 2001. The elderly are being targeted with greater frequency,
because they often have more money and more established credit
files. Presently, 10% of all identity theft victims are age 60
or older, and credit card fraud is the number one form of identity
theft among seniors. Considering these alarming numbers, it is
important to know how to prevent identity theft from happening
- Photocopy the contents of your wallet, so you know what
accounts to cancel if your wallet or purse is ever stolen.
carry your social security card around; leave it in a secure
place at home.
- Check your credit report at least once a year
for incorrect information and signs of fraudulent activity.
your bank and credit card statements carefully for charges that
you did not make. Contact your creditors for any charges
you don’t recognize.
- Dispose of receipts and other personal documents (like
credit card bills and bank statements) by shredding them.
- Deposit outgoing mail
containing your personal information in a secure post office
drop box, or take it directly to the post
- Shred unsolicited or unwanted credit card offers.
- Beware of
scamming. Never give out your personal information unless you
initiate the transaction, especially on the telephone
or over the Internet.
If you are the victim of identity theft, follow the FTC’s
recommendations for disputing and removing fraudulent information
from your credit report.
- First, file a police report with your
local police. This may be needed to prove your identity
fraud case to creditors
the three national credit bureaus to have identity fraud alerts
placed on your credit report.
• Equifax 800-685-1111
• Experian 888-397-3742
• Trans Union 800-888-4213
- The credit bureaus will provide free copies of
your credit report. Review them to make sure there aren’t any fraudulent
accounts open, and that your data is being reported accurately.
- Contact your creditors to close fraudulent accounts and/or
accounts that have been tampered with.
- For fraudulent accounts,
speak with a representative from the creditor’s fraud department.
Explain the situation, then follow up your conversation in writing.
- Ask your creditors for copies of fraudulent applications and
transaction records made in your name that are related
to your identity theft.
- File a complaint with the FTC. They maintain a database
of cases that law enforcement agencies utilize for investigations.
Follow this link: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
your 3 bureau
credit report and scores
information from all three national credit bureaus
(Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion)