By Jennifer Blanck, MiCAFE Network Coordinator
Identity theft is a growing problem in our country. In 2016, Michigan ranked #6 in the country for identity theft complaints. Six of the top fifteen cities in the country are in MI with Ann Arbor being #1. 41% of these victims range in age from 50-69. Many people are not aware that identity theft and financial exploitation are a type of elder abuse. Often, seniors who have been victimized by identity theft may not even realize it.
The Michigan Elder Justice Coordinating Council (MIEJCC), a program of Elder Law of Michigan (ELM), is currently working with a grant project from NITVAN – National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network and US Department of Justice. This is a project that focuses on providing partners and seniors with tools and strategies to identify and combat identity theft. This project provides educational content specially created to focus on identity theft and the vulnerability of seniors to identity theft. In addition to these materials, the project provides presentations and presenters at no cost to council partners. Generally, the interactive presentation lasts approximately 45-60 minutes.
It is unfortunate that there are heartless people in this world that prey on the vulnerability of our older community. This project is necessary and provides critical education on how to best protect from becoming a victim of identity theft and other materials and resources that might be needed if an individual has already been victimized.
If you are interested in hosting a presentation or would like more information please visit our website at www.mielderjustice.org or call 1.866.361.5558.