3 Ways to Protect Seniors from Identity Theft
With the increase in technology, it is become very important to help protect seniors from identity theft. Unfortunately, elderly people are often the target of criminals who want to steal personally identify information and illegally misuse personal data. According to some sources, identity theft happens once every 3 seconds.
If you are caring for an elderly parent or you want to assist your grandparents, how can you protect them from identity theft? Let’s look at 3 ways to help prevent identity theft.
Why are seniors targeted for identity theft?
There are a number of reasons why seniors are susceptible to becoming victims of ID fraud. For example, the Federal Trade Commission reported some reasons, including:
- they are generally more trusting of people
- they often don’t understand the security nuances of modern technology
- they may not tell family members about fraud because of embarrassment
- caregivers and others have access to personal records and social security numbers
How to protect older people from identity theft
Let’s look at 3 practical ways that you can help your elderly loved one becoming a victim of a scam.
1. Background check on caregivers
It’s a sad fact that sometimes ID theft is carried out by people that elderly people trust. So, when arranging for any kind of home care, always do thorough background checks or hire caregivers from a reputable company.
It’s also a good idea to keep personal documents and financial information in a secure place like a safe. You should also educate your elderly relative that they should never allow anyone access to these. If in doubt, they can call you to double check.
2. Educate older ones about ID theft
Speak to your elderly relative or parent about the different ways that thieves use to scam older people. One of the most common ways that seniors become victims is by responding to fraudulent calls on landlines. So, make sure that they understand never to give out personal information on the telephone, even if it seems to come from a trusted source like the bank or government agency.
With more seniors getting online, it’s important to educate them about phishing scams. For example, they should never click on links in emails or respond to suspicious emails. Some thieves send emails that look like it comes from the bank and requests to click a link to keep an account open.
3. Monitor their financial activity
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on
their bank accounts so that you can spot fraudulent activity. For example, you
can sign up to be notified of any changes in their bank account. Or, you can
sign them up for ID theft protection. Many companies offer family plans for a
reasonable yearly subscription.