Identity Theft at the Nursing Home
It’s not easy to see a loved one in a nursing home. But seeing them targeted for identity theft as a result of a nursing-home stay must be downright heartbreaking. And knowing that it can—and does—happen is a reminder to stay on top of the identities of family members who may not be able to do so themselves.
In central Indiana, investigators tell FOX 59 News that they’re looking into an identity theft ring that targeted residents in at least one area nursing home—residents whose ages were between 80- and 90-years old.
Police say a former employee may have used his or her inside access at a Greenfield, Ind., nursing home to take residents’ personally identifiable information (PII) to start the theft ring.
Authorities say the criminals used the victims’ PII to open fraudulent credit card accounts. They then purchased more than $100,000 in goods, everything from high-end blue jeans to electronics.
The ring apparently operated for several months before authorities had enough information to serve search warrants at three Indiana homes. When they executed the searches they found a ledger with hundreds of names and credit account numbers of potential victims—extending beyond Indiana.
Said an undercover officer: “If you have a loved one at a nursing home around here, you might want to check their credit accounts for fraud.”
No matter where your senior loved ones live, monitoring their identities is important. Whether it’s at a nursing home, a doctor’s office or other healthcare facility, a senior’s Social Security number is regularly used to determine care eligibility. The more places it’s used, the more people have access to it. And it just takes one “bad guy” in one office to wreak havoc.
Our friends at the Identity Theft Resource Center have more information on protecting senior adults from ID theft.
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