ElderLaw News-The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News
ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft & Credit Card Fraud

With identity theft and credit card fraud becoming a growing problem, there are things that each of us can do to minimize the risk.

Shred sensitive documents—Regularly shred outdated bank statements, credit card applications, bills, tax returns, and anything with your personal information before tossing it into the trash or recycling

Guard your information online—Clear your logins and passwords. Change logins and passwords frequently. Pay for online purchases with a credit card which provides better guarantees under federal law than your online payment services or your debit card. Be alert for phishing, a trick that mimics legitimate businesses to obtain your personal information. Use a wipe utility before disposing of hard drives and mobile devices. Encrypt your data to keep online transactions secure. Use strong passwords and keep passwords private.

Monitor your bank and credit card statements—Check your accounts regularly for fraudulent charges.

Monitor your credit report—By law, you are entitled to a free report every year from each three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can order through each agency or www.annualcreditreport.com.

Credit and debit cards—Pay attention at the checkout line. If a cashier, wait staff, or salesperson takes your card and either turns away from you or takes too long to conduct what is usually a normal transaction, they could be scanning your card into a skimming terminal or even taking a picture of your card front and back with a cell phone. Do not sign the back of your credit and debit cards; instead, write “Photo ID Required.”

Checks—If you want to put a telephone number on your checks, use your work telephone number instead of your home number. If you have a post office box, use that address on your checks instead of your home address. Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks.

Wallet—Limit what you carry. When you go out, take only the identification, credit, and debit cards you need. Keep photocopies of the contents of your wallet and all credit and debit cards. Copy both sides of each item, including your driver’s license, other identification cards, and credit/debit cards. This will permit you to know what you had, including account numbers, so you know which entities to contact if your wallet is lost or stolen. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also, when traveling, bring a copy of your passport and store it in an alternate location, like a locked suitcase or hotel safe, in case your passport is lost or stolen.


If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
Virginia (703) 243-3200
Washington DC (202) 223-0270

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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Distribution of This Newsletter

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to the Elder Law News, then please e-mail us at office@chroniccareadvocacy.com, telephone us at (703) 243-3200, or fax us at 703-841-9102.

This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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