My neice opened a credit card in my mother's name and has run the balance up to $562. She lives in a different state. How do we prosecute her for identity theft long distance?

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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.

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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.
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how aggressive is capital one in finding the person who commited identity theft for a $300 card
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Best wishes in your efforts to resolve the mess caused by your niece.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Thank you Chad. I will get right on it. Everyone has made this so much easier and I cannot express my gratitude enough.
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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.
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Lillput, I totally agree with you. We learned our lesson about Captial One years ago. And yes, Amex is our only card. Thank you.
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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
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