Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world — and unfortunately, nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable Americans. Identity theft means theft of the victim’s credit card numbers, Social Security information and other identifying information in order to obtain credit under that person’s name. After the thief racks up debts in the victim’s name, he or she simply fails to pay and sticks the victim with the bills. Thanks to the Internet, this is easier than it was even 20 years ago.
The Federal Trade Commission reports that seniors are the most common victims of identity theft. As Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyers, we believe nursing home residents are especially attractive targets. For one thing, people in nursing homes are often not managing their own financial affairs anymore, and the relatives in charge may not give the senior’s finances full attention. Furthermore, unscrupulous caregivers have an opportunity to take credit cards and other information from the patient, and suggest that the victim is just old and forgetful if he or she complains. And seniors tend to have a lifetime of good credit and savings that make them tempting targets.
All of this means that it may be weeks or months before anyone notices that a nursing home patient is a victim of identity theft. That’s unfortunate, because victims and their families must move quickly to reverse or minimize the damage to the patients’ finances. These families should also closely scrutinize the nursing home where identity theft occurred. If the supervision at the home was poor enough to allow identity theft, what else could be going on there?
Even if the thief is arrested and convicted, patients may need to take separate legal action to recover the stolen money.
A Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney can help victims sue the wrongdoer and the careless nursing home. To speak with the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenbaum & Associates about your case, please fill out our free case evaluation form or call 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 toll-free.