New York, NY – Gerald and his wife are still trying to repair the damage after learning his parents were victims of identity theft.
“I found that about $6-thousand dollars was debited from her checking account and I questioned them and they weren’t aware of it or how it happened,” Gerald Ruggiero said.
Turns out the home health aide hired to help the couple was stealing from them.
“They had a trusting relationship… my father was crazy about him… everything was going swell until they got swindled,” Ruggiero said.
The fraud started unraveling when Gerald’s mom called him confused about withdrawals from her account. Gerald quickly realized what was going on after he looked at his parents’ check book.
“Some checks were manipulated for different figures,” Gerald said. “Some checks were made out to cash some checks went to Costco.”
That’s not all. Their personal information was being used to open new credit card accounts and apply for car loans. In all, the couple lost $25,000.
Postal inspectors say the home health aide was part of a identity theft ring.
Gerald froze his parents accounts. So, if anyone tries to apply for credit with that information, he will be alerted.
“They were able to shut most of it down but a lot did go through and they are still to this day –many months later – still receiving notifications from the credit bureaus of new attempts on new accounts, Gerald said
The home health aide in this case was arrested and faces charges. Postal inspectors say it is imperative to protect all personal information such as social security numbers if people are going to be consistently visiting the home.