New York recently passed legislation to amend the definition of elder abuse to include identity theft. This is important as an acknowledgement of the seriousness of the problem of identity theft involving the elderly, and the legislation will also allow victims of identity theft to be eligible for resources that provide support services and programs for elderly persons who are suspected victims of abuse or exploitation in New York.
The legislation directs that materials be developed for social services programs on the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, including identity theft. In addition, the legislation establishes an elderly abuse education and outreach program to identify and prevent abuse, neglect, exploitation and identity theft. Two other states, Ohio and Arkansas, as well as the District of Columbia make financial identity fraud against an elder person a crime.