Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 79

COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

What To Do It You Suspect
You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft
WHAT DO DO RIGHT AWAY
n Call the companies where you suspect the
fraud occurred.
n Place a fraud alert with a credit reporting
agency and get your credit report from
one of the three national credit bureaus.
n Report identity theft to the FTC.
n File a report with your local police department.

n Remove bogus charges from your accounts.
n Correct your credit report.
n Consider adding an extended fraud alert or
credit freeze.

themselves or others, putting lives at risk if the theft
is not detected and the wrong information ends up
in the victims' medical files. Claims for services or
items obtained with stolen HICNs might be included
in the beneficiary's Medicare billing history and
could delay or prevent the beneficiary from receiving
needed services until the discrepancy is resolved.
In April 2015, a law was signed that requires the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services to remove
Social Security numbers from Medicare cards by
2019.
Tips to Help Secure Your Identity
n Medicare and Social Security will not call you to
ask for your bank information or Social Security
number.
n There will never be a fee charged to obtain a Social Security or Medicare card.
n Never give out personal information over the
phone.
n Sensitive personal and financial documents
should be kept secure at all times.
n Review all medical bills to spot any services that
you didn't receive.
Article excerpted from the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate
Aging Committee Identifies Top Ten Scams Targeting
our Nations Seniors. For additional information visit
www.agingssenate.gov

Council On Aging-Southern California | 714-479-0107 | www.coasc.org	 Answers Guide 2017

79

FINANCE & LEGAL

led to opportunities for thieves to commit fraud
without stealing SSN's. In some cases, thieves can
illegally access an existing customer's account simply
by entering that individual's username, e-mail address, or name and correctly guessing the password.
This is often referred to as an "account takeover."
Whether the thief uses this method to access an existing account or uses stolen personal information
to create a new account, the end result is often the
same: early in the tax filing season, the thief files a
false tax return using a victim's identity and directs
the refund to his own mailing address or bank account. The victim only discovers this theft when
he files his own return and the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) refuses to accept it because a refund
has already been issued. In November 2015, the IRS
reversed a long-standing policy and now will provide
victims with copies of the fake returns upon written
request. The documents will provide victims with
details to help them discover how much of their personal information was stolen.
Medical identity theft occurs when someone steals
personal information- an individual's name, SSN,
or health insurance claim number (HICN)-to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs, or submit
fake billings to Medicare. Medical identity theft can
disrupt lives, damage credit ratings, and waste taxpayer dollars. Some identity thieves even use stolen
personal information to obtain medical care for

WHAT TO DO NEXT
n Close new accounts opened in your name.


http://www.aging.senate.gov http://www.coasc.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Council on Aging Answers 2017

Contents
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Intro
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover1
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