This blog series is dedicated to telling the real-world stories of the most serious cases of stolen identities – and just how devastating these crimes can be on organizations, individuals, and families. This week’s recap shows how an identity thief used the oldest man in America’s Social Security number to drain the victim’s checking account. Read the latest edition of our real identity theft stories here.
About the Victim
Richard Overton is 112-years-old, making him America’s oldest living man and the third-oldest living man in the world. He is a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army. Overton saw tours of duty in Pearl Harbor, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima, and was honored by former President Barack Obama for his service. He lives in the same East Austin, TX home that he built 72 years ago, and requires round-the-clock home care.
How the ID Theft Occurred
Richard’s cousin, Volma, discovered the theft when he went to make a deposit into Overton’s checking account. After looking at the balance, the amount only reflected what he had just deposited, signaling that a “significant amount” of money was missing. He then discovered that someone had been using the account for months to purchase savings bonds with Treasury Direct.
Further investigation revealed that an identity thief got their hands on Overton’s SSN, and used it to open a fake bank account. They then gained access to his checking account. Due to his celebrity and media coverage, his name and date of birth were regularly mentioned in the news, which likely aided the fraudster in accomplishing their heist. The thief remains unidentified.
Why Seniors are Targets for Identity Theft
A case like this one shows that anyone can become a victim of identity theft, and older adults are often more vulnerable to scams. True Link Financial reported that senior citizens lose more than $36 billion a year to fraud. These range from Medicare scams to tax fraud, mail theft, and beyond – often leading to identity theft.
Keeping Your Identity Safe
Luckily there are tools in place to help monitor your personal information, minimize the damage of identity theft, and provide fully-managed restoration. Take control of your sensitive information and get alerted to any suspicious activity with the best identity theft protection solution. Sign up for a Free Trial of IdentityForce and get protected today.