What retirees need to know about ID theft

Let urgency make you suspicious
5 of 9

Panic is an effective tool for identity thieves. If someone's scaring you into acting immediately, chances are they're using fear to overcome your natural intelligence.

One hot con: You get an e-mail from your bank or some branch of the U.S. government. Something's wrong and something horrible (arrest, garnishment, legal action, empty or blocked accounts) is going to happen if you don't do something right now.

The giveaway: "The FBI does not e-mail people," says Jenny Shearer, spokeswoman for the FBI. And the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Homeland Security or any other branch of the federal government won't either. (They also probably won't phone you out of the blue.)

Be especially suspicious if the party requests your Social Security number, credit card number, bank account number or other personal financial information. The bank already has the data it needs, and isn't going to contact you to ask you for it again, says Foley.

If you think that "emergency" e-mail is really from your bank, look up the phone number on your bank statement and call to verify, she says.




Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed, 0 point 4.26%  0.22 4.48%
15 year fixed, 0 point 3.30%  0.01 3.31%
5/1 ARM 3.30%  0.05 3.35%
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.75%  0.01 4.76%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.51%  0.01 4.52%
100K FICO-based HELOC 4.24% --0.00 4.24%
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.86%  0.23 3.09%
48 month used car loan 2.79%  0.42 3.21%
60 month new car loan 2.94%  0.04 2.98%
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.89%  0.01 0.88%
2 Year CD 1.01%  0.02 1.03%
5 Year CD 1.59%  0.07 1.66%
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.71%  0.01 15.70%
Cash Back Cards 16.36% --0.00 16.36%
Low Interest Cards 10.91% --0.00 10.91%

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.


Jennie Phipps

Hiring home caregivers directly

Fewer long-term care insurance policies allow insureds to pay for home care directly, but being able to do this can stretch long-term care dollars.  ... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us