The staff of the Federal Trade Commission is seeking information from the public on how identity theft impacts senior citizens, which the agency will use to inform its law enforcement agenda, policy initiatives and consumer education efforts.
Seniors may be particularly susceptible to identity theft. They are often targeted for phishing scams; some seniors have granted powers of attorney giving wide access to their personal information; and most seniors' Medicare cards list their Social Security numbers. In addition, the personal information of senior citizens may be vulnerable in hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities.
In order to learn more about this problem, FTC staff seeks information, including original research, on the scope of senior identity theft, challenges to combating it, and solutions. The agency is particularly interested in data on the prevalence of identity theft targeting senior citizens; types of identity theft schemes and the extent to which thieves use them to target seniors; precautions seniors can take to protect their identity; and public and private sector solutions to senior identity theft.
Comments can be submitted through July 15, 2012. Interested parties can submit information electronically or in paper form. Hard-copy comments should be mailed or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-112 (Annex L), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC requests that any comment filed in paper form near the closing date be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area is subject to delay due to heightened security measures.
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 and follow us on Twitter.