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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Don’t let identity theft ruin your retirement plans

Nov 06

Don’t let identity theft ruin your retirement plans

When you reach a certain age, you’ll probably start to really focus on retirement plans, health insurance and collecting Social Security.  You may also plan your retirement with visions of having a Pina Colada in hand under a palm tree somewhere in the Bahamas.  What you don’t normally think about is having identity theft being a part of your future.

This was the case with an 83 year old lady whose cousin and niece obtained a power of attorney and sold their grandmother’s home of 56 years.  Not only did the suspects sell the grandmother’s house from under her nose, they had the audacity to deposit the money into her bank account and overdraw it. They wrote bad checks left and right.  Furthermore, they caused additional damage by applying for various credit cards and charging them to the limit. Definitely a situation nobody wants to be in during the golden years of life. 

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to an identity theft scam targeted at people nearing retirement, you may want to take the following actions: File an identity theft report at the local police department; close bank accounts; contact the local Social Security Administration Office; close any credit/debit cards currently open; cancel all check books issued; and lastly, contact the credit institutions where fraudulent accounts were opened and start a fraud claim.

At present, you may want to invest in an identity monitoring product that monitors your personal information and all three credit bureaus. Make sure the product notifies you if your personal information shows up in an Internet sweep of nefarious sites and alerts you to key changes made to your credit report.  After all, you are working very hard for your retirement fund and the only thing you want to worry about is having that Pina Colada under that palm tree.