Bloomfield Hills senior residents are victims of identity theft

Police investigating identity thefts at Bloomfield Hills senior home

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - Sunrise of Bloomfield Hills is a home to many senior citizens in need of specialized care.

Family members trust staff members to deliver top-notch service and security to the residents.

However, the Defenders have learned of a crime targeting some of the residents -- specifically targeting seniors with Alzheimer's.

At least five residents are victims of identity theft. Their personal information has been used to open new accounts and rip them off.

Police said they have interviewed victims' family members and are working to track the accounts. Police also are trying to determine if this was an inside job or if someone is hacking into computers from outside.

Retired police detective Tom Berry said in cases like this it is almost always an employee working at the facility who is stealing the personal information.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this is an inside job," said Berry. "Somebody has that information and they're assuming identities."

With names, addresses, and Social Security information on the victims, the identity thieves were able to open charge cards, credit lines, make purchases and more.

The victims' children are now working with police to help tie up the investigation.

"The way to stop it and the way I've stopped it and I tell my family members to stop it is put an alert on your credit report," Berry said. "You have to contact your major credit reporters ... and you contact them and say nobody can open a new account on my Social Security number without first telling me."

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