After the Crime - What should I do now?

 

 

 

SAFETY FIRST!

 

If you think a criminal may still be nearby, CALL 911 immediately. If someone is hurt, seek medical attention. Do not approach the scene of the crime until you know it is safe.

 

Contact the police right away to report any suspected crime. If the crime is a burglary or theft, do not touch anything until police have had a chance to inspect the area.

 

 

Violent Crimes

  1. If someone is hurt, make sure that they are safe from further harm and then check for any injuries. They may be in shock and may not realize that they are hurt. 
  2. Contact the police right away.
  3. Victims of violent crimes may remember more details after the initial shock of the event wears off. Sometimes, it may take several days for them to be able to talk about what happened.
    • If the person finds more injuries or property damages later, or remembers more details, contact the police to give them the new information.
  4. Some people who have been through a violent crime may blame themselves. Make sure the person has support as they recover. 
    • Some people find counseling or support groups to be helpful.

 

Property Crimes (theft or damage)

  1. Check the area for stolen or damaged property.
  2. Make a detailed list of everything that was stolen or damaged.
  3. Document the cost to repair or replace each item by getting receipts, estimates, or advertised prices for the same item.
  4. Contact your insurance company if you think the theft or damage might be covered by insurance.
    • Florida law requires insurance companies to treat victims of crime who are 60 years or older differently. Florida law may require your insurance company to waive your deductible.
    • Call the Elder Rights Center at (561) 684-5885 for more information.
  5. You may be able to deduct theft or damage losses from your taxes.
    • Check with a tax professional or visit www.IRS.gov to learn more.

 

Fraud, Scams, and Identity Theft 

  1. Notify your bank and credit card companies of the fraud. Tell them to cancel any affected cards.
  2. Check your bank statements, credit card statements, and other financial information carefully.
    • Criminals may continue to use your financial information even after you stop the original fraud. It is important to check your accounts often.
    • Criminals often make small charges first, to see if there is money in your account. It is important to contact the bank or credit card company if you see any issues, no matter how small. 
  3. Check your credit report to see if it shows any accounts that you did not open or addresses that you do not recognize. These could be signs of fraud or identity theft. 
    • Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call each of the three main credit reporting agencies (below) to get your three free annual credit reports.
    • If you see accounts you do not recognize, call the listed companies immediately to report the fraud and close the accounts.
  4. Place a fraud alert on your credit report by calling the three main credit reporting agencies.
    •  Equifax: 888-766-0008
    •  Experian: 888-397-3742
    •  TransUnion: 800-680-7289
  5. Consider setting up automatic bank notifications so that you receive a text message or email from your bank each time your account is used.
    • This can help you monitor your accounts because you will know right away if someone tries to use your money.
  6. Criminals may contact you and pretend to be investigating the fraud. They may ask for account information or personal information such as your social security number.
    • Never give out your Social Security number or other personal information over the phone, unless you made the call to a number you know (such as the phone number listed on your bank card).
    • Criminals may call you and say you need to pay a fee to process your fraud claim. This is a lie. Real investigators will not charge you!
  7. You may be able to deduct fraud and scam losses from your taxes.
    • Contact a tax professional or the IRS, or visit www.IRS.gov to learn more.

 

Resources

 

 

Questions? Need help? Please call (561) 684-5885 and press option 3 to leave a voicemail for our Elder Rights Center. We check our voicemail daily and will respond to you as quickly as possible.

 

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