Follow
Share

Just found out tonight that my niece opened a credit card in my 81 y.o. mothers name and has run the balance up to $562. This is my brother's daughter who has taken advantage of my mother before. A year ago, he and my mother agreed to have my niece and her two kids move in with her. They kept me out of the loop because they knew I would disagree (to put it mildly!) Anyway, last month I had to go to pick my mom up and bring her home with me due to several abuses she was enduring by my niece. At that time, I told my niece she had 30 days to get out. Now, I recieved this notice from the credit card company and need to find out how I can go about going after her for this identity theft and other charges if possible. She lives in the Orlando, Florida area and my mother is with me in Georgia at this time. Any suggestions/guidance would be greatly appreciated. I have been left to "clean up the mess" after my brothers' sudden death 7 months ago.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Identity theft is identity theft - the amount doesn't matter.
If the person who opened the card in an elder's name doesn't have POA that allows them to do so, that's identity theft.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

how aggressive is capital one in finding the person who commited identity theft for a $300 card
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Best wishes in your efforts to resolve the mess caused by your niece.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Update: Upon receipt of the first credit report, we found 2 other accounts opened in my mothers name and one old account that my niece evidently stole the new credit card out of the mail and charged away. We have notified the credit card companies, credit bureaus and filed a police report. Now, we wait to hear from everyone's investigators. Again, thank everyone for your help.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just an update, I FINALLY got through to Capital One's Fraud Department and they were actually very polite and closed the account telling my mother not to worry about it. They will send us a fraud form in the mail and we will see what the next step will be. We also ordered credit reports. We will make a report with the local authorities when we go back in two weeks. Chad, the number you gave me gives another number for a phone chat line. Again, I really appreciate all of the support and I will keep you all informed of our journey.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Those are all great answers. I'd like to share a free resource - identity theft and taking advantage of elders is an epidemic. Because it takes effort, and time along with emotions for the victim, co-victims (in this case the family handling the issue) there are so many steps. I can recommend the Identity Theft Resource Center (http://www.idtheftcenter.org/map.html) which is a non-profit and has information and sample forms/letters as well as an 800 number you may call to get advice. The volunteers have all "been there" and are helpful and kind, while giving you invaluable advice the credit card industry and sometimes local law enforcement won't. There are sections on your options on how to handle the issue if it is a family member who is the perpetrator. I recommend it highly and hope everyone on this site will keep it as a resource.

Good luck - sometimes the first notice that something is wrong will lead to much more that has been hidden. Stay strong and don't hesitate to share what you learn while you deal with this problem.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you Chad. I will get right on it. Everyone has made this so much easier and I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If you call capital One Fraud Dept. or your mother calls. They will freeze the account/close it and will investigate. Absolutely in the interim, you pay nothing. It is easy to stop the use and freeze/close and pay nothing. I agree with others that the fraud may not be isolated. Wishing you success. If you receive any objection, persist. i don't think you will have any difficulty.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Lillput, I totally agree with you. We learned our lesson about Captial One years ago. And yes, Amex is our only card. Thank you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

ooooooooh Capital One is the worst (IMHO). I signed up for a card...it got stolen in transit....then I had to explain, to the fraud dept, in writing, that I had not gone on a shopping spree in Brooklyn ......I LOVE Amex....whenever I have had an issue with a retailer, their customer service was amazing
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wow, everyone is so helpful. Makes me feel like I am not in this boat alone. I will take everyone's guidance with me when I make the trip to the "hornet's nest" at the end of the month. Chad, it is Capital One. Again, thank you all!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Your mom is right - Talk to your local police department. You will have to file an identity theft report to be able to provide a copy to the credit card company as evidence that you are not trying to scam your way out of the credit card charges. Sad, but true that many people try to do this. Look online for the police department; identity theft/credit card fraud/check fraud is so rampant that many jurisdictions have a reporting form on the police department website (our city does). If the account is in your mother's name, the credit card company cannot refuse to put a freeze on it (even if they won't close it) while the fraud investigation is in place. Tell them this is to protect them for additional fraudulent charges (and use that word). If they still won't, ask for their "Agent of Service". This is the person who will legally be sent paperwork for a lawsuit for the credit card company not following the credit card legislation in the states/federal system. The credit card companies do these things to try to bully responsible people into paying for charges that scammers push through (the scammers don't care). The local police department will coordinate investigation into the credit card fraud. Contact all 3 credit bureaus - you have no idea what else the niece has done that has not shown up yet.
Helen
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You do not have to pay anything! Don't be conned by the credit card company. You may want to ask to speak to the fraud department. Just curious what the name of the credit card company is? Make a note of your call and that you have told them to close the account. They have no authority to keep the account open.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you so much for your response. When I called the credit card company, I told them this was identity theft, we were not going to arrange to make payments and wanted the account closed. I was informed that my mom had to pay the account off and then request the account be closed. In other words, my neice could just pay it down some and keep on using it. That is crazy! They are sending copies of the statements on the account. When I get those, I will call back and talk with a supervisor. My mom actually suggested calling the local police department, since they also have a history on my niece. To date she has scammed my mother out of $33,000+. My mom wouldn't prosecute in the past because of my niece's two kids, but she is ready to prosecute her now.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

A mess indeed! So sorry to hear about the passing of your brother and that your irresponsible neice has put you and your mother through this. As chad mentioned above, close the account. In addition report it to the local (FL) authorities....there may be more fraud to come.
Do you have the PoA for your Mom? Check all her bank accounts and get a credit report (1 copy per year is free and you will get copies from the 3 credit companies). If you find anything unusual, place a "fraud alert" on her credit account. This way, no one can take a loan out or access her credit ratings without her permission. I believe it lasts 90 days...then, you can put another one on after that.
Make sure to remove any valuables from your Mom's house and take important paperwork with you...then, evict the freeloader.
Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Report this to the credit card company as identity theft and refuse to pay. They will investigate and close the account. Then if your mother wishes to press charges, report to your local police department and let them work it for you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.