FTC To Host Workshop Examining the Effects of Identity Theft on Older Americans

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a one-day workshop on May 7, 2013, exploring how identity theft impacts older Americans. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because they tend to have more assets and readily available cash than others. Identity thieves may also view seniors as attractive targets based on their belief that they may be more trusting or easier to exploit.

Given the serious and widespread harm caused by identity theft, the FTC has devoted significant resources towards combating the problem, acting on three main fronts: aggressively enforcing the law, serving as a clearinghouse for identity theft complaints, and educating consumers and businesses about identity theft.

The workshop, coinciding with Older Americans Month, will provide a forum for public-sector, private-sector, and consumer representatives to discuss and examine ways to inform and empower seniors and their caregivers on protecting personal information and resolving identity theft matters. The workshop is free and open to the public.
Topics may include:

  • A discussion of medical identity theft and why seniors are vulnerable on this front;
  • An analysis of how seniors might be impacted by tax and government benefits-related identity theft and how to safeguard their identity in light of the movement of government benefits away from paper;
  • An exploration of how older consumers are susceptible to identity theft in nursing home settings and assisted living situations, and how to minimize their exposure; and
  • Practical ideas for outreach to older consumers; examine how educational messages can best be conveyed, and who effective messengers might be.

Entities and organizations may submit requests to participate as panelists and may recommend topics for inclusion on the agenda. The requests and recommendations can be submitted electronically to seniorIDtheft@ftc.gov. Paper submissions should be mailed or delivered to: 600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Room H-113 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580. Prospective panelists should submit a statement detailing their expertise on the issues to be addressed and contact information no later than April 5, 2013. Panelists will be selected based on expertise and the need to include a broad range of views.

The workshop will be held at the FTC's satellite building conference center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jay Mayfield
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181

STAFF CONTACT:

Steve Toporoff
Bureau of Consumer Protection
(202) 326-3135
stoporoff@ftc.gov

Lisa Schifferle
Bureau of Consumer Protection
(202) 326-3377
lschifferle@ftc.gov

Jennifer Leach
Consumer and Business Education
(202) 326-3203
jleach@ftc.gov