Gov. Hochul Signs New Law that Better Protects the Elderly from Identity Theft

Gov. Hochul Signs New Law that Better Protects the Elderly from Identity Theft

By Yehudit Garmaise

Gov. Kathy Hochul today signed legislation that adds identity theft to existing legislation that aims to prevent elder abuse, so as to better protect seniors from the fraudulent use of their personal information.

The new law will also provide funds for non-profit agencies and law enforcement to better identify identity theft and provide support and resources for those whom are targeted.

"Every year older New Yorkers fall victim to identity theft as scammers get more inventive and aggressive,” said State Senator Rachel May. “This simple change to our laws will open up state resources for people fighting this terrible crime. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill today to ensure seniors have more protection against abuse."

While older adults are not the exclusive targets of identity theft, they can be especially susceptible to victimization as they often need to share their personal information online with caregivers, medical providers' offices, and government agencies.

"The fact that older New Yorkers are often the target of identity theft is unconscionable," Gov. Hochul said. "We need to continue boosting protections for our aging population, and this legislation is a simple, common-sense way to keep them safe from harmful tactics of elder abuse. 

Older adult victims of identity theft, who often no longer earn incomes that can restore stolen savings, can be devastated for years by the unlawful use of their personal identification information, such as social security numbers, driver's license information, and bank and credit card accounts.

In worst-case scenarios, elderly victims suffer terrible consequences, such as bankruptcy in their retirements.

Through Gov. Hochul’s new law, support services groups that serve the aging population and law enforcement teams will receive funds to better help seniors, the fastest-growing sector of our population, from identity theft in its many forms. 

“Older New Yorkers have been there for us, and as the nation's first age-friendly state, I'm proud that New York continues to lead the way to be there for them."

Photo: Flickr

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