Scams aimed at seniors are receiving increased attention — so that’s the good news.  But scammers keep coming up with new variations to try and steal seniors’ personal information —so that’s the bad news.  I recently wrote about seniors being targeted for Medicare scams (see, “Seniors Beware! Latest Medicare Scam”; January 7, 2013)

However, the additional good news is that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is focusing its considerable talents on trying to tackle this issue. In May 2012, I highlighted the news that the FTC had selected  seniors and identity theft as a policy focus for the coming year (see, “Stealing Identities from Seniors: FTC’s Upcoming Policy Focus”; May 30, 2012).  As I mentioned in that blog, and in other articles, the FTC website (www.ftc.gov) is an excellent source for practical “what can I do” information on identity theft — in general, as well as for specific audiences including older Americans.

The FTC had solicited input from the public and experts over the summer on six different aspects of seniors’ identity theft.  As part of their ongoing efforts, the FTC is holding a workshop on May 7th to talk about the effects of identity theft on older Americans.

The FTC said the May 7th workshop will serve as a forum in which public and private sector experts, consumer representatives and others can discuss ways to inform and empower seniors and their caregivers on protecting seniors’ personal information and resolving identity theft issues. The workshop will be free, open to the public and will be held at the FTC’s satellite conference center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. , Washington, D.C.

This initial announcement was to publicize the workshop and invite interested parties to submit proposals to serve as panelists.  Registration details weren’t included in the announcement.   I will keep you posted when registration information becomes available.  Or, if you’re interested, you can periodically check the FTC website.

Protecting seniors from identity theft is so important effort.  I’m looking forward to attending the FTC’s workshop and learning more about what we all can do.