By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer
A caregiver must realize that not all law
enforcement agencies are involved in investigating
the complexity of all scams and/or are able to
effectively handle these types of financial in-depth
investigations. Certain officers are trained
especially to handle fraud.
The first place to contact is the local police
department. FraudAid, a nonprofit dedicated to
helping people in these situations, recommends a
person never report the incident to more than one
agency, to avoid causing confusion and slowing down
the investigation. Always say ďIím reporting a
financial fraud.Ē This will help the person
responding to know exactly where to direct the call.
A loved one may report the crime, but many seniors
after the incident will make poor witnesses,
depending on age and memory concerns. These
investigations could take weeks or months to
In the meantime, a caregiver should close the
accounts that may have been accessed and file a
fraud report with the appropriate financial
Look if a new account was opened without consent,
and if so, close that and also file a fraud report.
Next, make sure the local agency has reported it to
the Federal Trade Commission and if not, do so.
The last important step after a fraud has occurred
is to initiate a fraud alert. This is done by
contacting the three major credit bureaus
immediately. This will prevent a person from opening
any more accounts.
Here are important documents to keep on hand after
the incident occurs:
- Police report
- Identity theft affidavit
- Bills with fraudulent charges
- Documentation of accounts opened without
- Copies of letters sent to credit bureaus and
A caregiver must reassure their loved one itís
not their fault; they are a victim of fraud. Sadly,
this type of situation has become commonplace.
Though prevention is the best measure, itís not
always foolproof. An informed caregiver will make a
loved one feel safe and, as they should, cared for.