Seniors need to take steps to ensure that they protect their personal and financial information. It’s often the case that criminals target seniors for scams and identity theft, because they think seniors are easy targets. But there are lots of things seniors can do to protect themselves from identity theft, like:
Cut Down On Junk Mail
Seniors usually get large amounts of junk mail, pre-approved credit offers, and solicitations. Those pieces of junk mail can contain enough information that criminals can steal your identity. Removing your senior’s name from mailing lists and pre-approved offers should reduce the amount of junk mail. Having a post office box instead of directly sending mail to a senior’s home can help keep their address private.
Be Safe While Shopping
Seniors may like to carry important documents so that they know where they are, but it’s a bad idea to carry documents like a Social Security card or passport in a purse or wallet. Having important documents while shopping makes them easier to steal, especially when seniors are distracted by shopping or trying to pay for their purchases. Seniors should use pre-paid credit cards whenever possible to shop, and use ordinary credit cards if they don’t have pre-paid ones. Leave checks and important documents at home.
Get Senior Home Care
Senior home care has many benefits for seniors. Besides helping with cooking and cleaning, caregivers that provide senior home care can do many things. Like help seniors shred sensitive documents, answer the phone to cut down on scam calls and telemarketers, and help seniors ensure their personal and financial data is secure. Shredding financial documents and personal documents with valuable information is an important step in preventing identity theft. Equally important is ensuring scam calls don’t take in seniors. Senior home care providers can protect your senior loved one when you can’t be there to ensure they aren’t being targeted.
Check Credit and Financial Accounts Regularly
Seniors should regularly check their online bank accounts, credit card accounts, and credit report. If identity theft occurs, seniors need to know about it so they can start fighting it. To prevent potential identity theft, seniors have limited time to file a claim. Talk to your senior parent about adding yourself to their financial accounts if you haven’t already. That way, you can help them monitor their accounts and ensure they don’t become victims of identity theft.
Avoid Romance Scams
Romance scams often target seniors and lead to identity theft. Is your senior parent dating and meeting people on dating apps or social media like Facebook? Make sure the romantic interest does not ask for money or information that could be used to steal their identity.