Identity Theft Schemes Seniors Need To Watch Out For

From Timeless in Bedford County Magazine No. 2

Millions experience identity theft each year. Unfortunately, those most often targeted, are seniors. Raised to respect others, be polite and trusting make this generation more vulnerable. They’re also less likely to report theft when it occurs because of embarrassment or not knowing who to contact for help. 

Here are few forms of identity theft effecting seniors of today: 

Medical Identity Theft – illegal access and use of personally identifiable information (PII) to obtain medical treatment.

Estate Identity Theft – when a criminal collects tax returns, Social Security checks, and other benefits using PII from the recently deceased. 

Tax Fraud – when a criminal files taxes using stolen information to collect a victim’s tax return. 

Phone Scams – when a criminal contacts the victim by phone using the pretense of selling products, awarding prizes or health care services. The goal is to obtain personal and financial information.

Military Identity Theft – is the takeover of a service member’s personal information to claim military benefits.

Familiar Fraud – purchases made in the victim’s name.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of Identity Theft, visit www.IdentityTheft.gov. This site provides detailed advice to offer a personal recovery plan. 

Identity Theft Recovery Plan, Federal Trade Commission booklets can also be found at any one of your Hometown Bank locations.

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