Sadly, identity thieves and other types of scammers target senior citizens more than any other age group. This means that Florida gets hit with massive amounts of identity theft and credit card fraud every year. After all, according to The Palm Beach Post, approximately one out of every 20 Florida residents is over the age of 80. Also, about 3.3 million people who are at least 65-years-old call Florida home. The Sunshine State is a great state for retirees, but, unfortunately, it also attracts fraudsters in droves. This is why it is extra important for seniors and caregivers in Florida to take measures against identity theft and credit card fraud.
The Growing Problem of Florida Seniors Becoming Victims of Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud
According to a survey from the Cooperative Credit Union Association, two-thirds of caregivers in Florida report that their elderly charges have experienced credit card fraud or identity theft. The same poll reveals that 44% of Florida seniors don’t know what to do if attacked by scammers. Also, 25% of caregivers admit to not discussing the threats posed by scammers.
Of course, these numbers should change. Because most Florida seniors don’t know how to identify fraudsters on the phone, via mail, or online, caregivers must discuss the warning signs with them. Florida retirees are targeted because they don’t necessarily know when they’re getting scammed. Therefore, the solution to this problem lies in education. Florida caregivers have frequent discussions with senior consumers about how identity thieves and credit card fraudsters operate. This way, retired Florida residents won’t immediately trust anyone who calls or sends a letter or email.
How to Protect Florida Retirees Against Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft
All Florida caregivers should discuss the threats posed by scammers with their charges. Florida retirees should know that they cannot trust every piece of mail, email, and phone call they receive. For example, if someone claiming to be a debt collector calls a senior, the senior should verify their identity. In addition, no senior should ever provide personal information over the phone or via email unless they are 100% sure about the recipient.
Too often, Florida retirees give out their Social Security numbers and payment information to scammers. These fraudsters might impersonate debt collectors, IRS agents, or representatives from a sweepstakes organization. They collect information from the elderly. Then, they proceed to create bogus accounts, run up charges, drain bank accounts, and destroy credit scores.
In addition, caregivers should instruct senior citizens in Florida to do the following.
- Ask questions about suspicious-looking emails.
- Get a second opinion about any piece of mail that requests payment or personal data.
- Shred all documents that contain sensitive information.
- Avoid sharing payment or personal information while using Public Wi-Fi.
- Check financial statements and credit reports regularly.
While imparting this advice, Florida caregivers should take it for themselves as well. Even though seniors are targeted more than other age groups, anyone can be a victim of identity theft and credit card fraud.
Why Florida Consumers Should Check their Financial Statements and Credit Reports to Protect Themselves Against Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft
No matter how careful you are with your sensitive data, sometimes it ends up in the wrong hands. For example, 145.5 consumers in Florida and throughout the country were affected by the Equifax breach in 2017. This is why all Florida consumers should check their bank and credit card statements weekly, or even daily, for suspicious activity. It’s also a good idea to check your credit reports for fraudulent items at least once every 12 months.
Every 12 months, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) allows consumers to request a free copy of their credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. To make it even more convenient, you can go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all from one federally authorized website.
Then, if you find signs of identity theft on any of your credit reports, file a police report immediately. Next, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Florida. Our firm fixes identity theft damage on credit reports every day, so we know how to deal with creditors and the credit bureaus. When you give us a call or fill out our convenient online contact firm, and experienced credit attorney will go to work for you right away. No matter what it takes, we’ll remove fraudulent items removed from your credit reports for FREE.
The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft
Don’t let fraudulent accounts on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (813) 940-7255 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, check out https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/florida/fix-identity-theft/.