#17 Familiar Fraud
Familiar fraud – cases in which the victim personally knows the individual(s) abusing their identity – is one of the most emotionally and financially devastating fraud incidents to the victim.
Unfortunately, there are those who we have trusted implicitly that break our trust in them.
- Friend: This is one of the most emotionally taxing forms of familiar fraud because most would never think that the friends, they have trusted for years, would take advantage of them. Being close to someone in proximity can make you a vulnerable target. They would have access to your home address, date of birth, maiden names, children’s names, potential PIN numbers, and more.
- Personal Assistant: Most people do their due diligence on their personal assistant before they hire that assistant. The vast majority of personal assistants are trustworthy, which is why they are permitted to have access to some of the most personal areas of our lives like banks accounts, payroll, and even personal information. If the wrong person had access to this information, your life could easily be turned upside down.
- Co-worker: We spend forty or more hours per week with those whom we work and over that time, it’s easy to build trust with these people to share little bits and pieces about your life. Not only would a co-worker be able to take the little bits of information that you share with them to steal your identity or log into your accounts, they could possibly make your life harder by extending that malicious behavior to the workplace.
- Housekeeper: Housekeepers see it all, and there’s no exception for the information that you leave around your house. Do you ever throw credit card offers into the trash can without thinking that someone could pick up the pre-approved offer and fill it out? It’s possible. Even those who can be trusted the most to be in your house, around your valuables, can surprise you.
- Caregiver theft (fraud) is another sad type of familiar fraud. Nothing is worse than trusting someone in your home only to have them steal. The crime is especially bad when the victim is elderly or an otherwise vulnerable person.
As baby boomers age, more and more become dependent on outside caregivers. Some need to move to an assisted living facility while others require more help such as that offered in a skilled nursing facility. Many seniors, however, are able to remain at home and rely on in home assistance.
Those arrangements are wonderful for most people. Unfortunately, there are people who prey on the elderly and home bound.
Sharese Mattis was arrested by the Hartford (CT) Police. They say Mattis was a home care worker who was employed by an 81-year-old retired physician suffering from dementia. She is accused of embezzling $180,000 from him. Police said that she was able to steal this in just 3 years. She allegedly did so by increasing her pay using his online bank account.
Credit monitoring will not alert you to this type of fraud
LibertyID will take the following steps for/with their members:
- Contact impacted creditor/businesses where the victim’s information was misused and have the fraudulent accounts closed and note the presence of identity theft
- Place fraud alerts at all three credit reporting agencies
- Place credit freezes at all three credit reporting agencies, if appropriate
- File report with FTC
- If their identity theft involved the use of your driver’s license number, Social Security Number, or another type of identification, will we contact the relevant agencies to notify them of the theft
- Review credit reports with the victim to ensure there is no other types of fraud
- Provide single bureau credit monitoring with alerts for 12 months
- LibertyID will ensure that the restoration is completed with the victim
- Periodically contact the member throughout the 12 months following resolution of their ID theft recovery case, if warranted