Many seniors are unaware of the latest scams designed to steal their personal and financial information. However, they can take a few preventive measures to keep their information protected and prevent identity theft. Anchorage, AK, elder care experts have a few tips to help your senior loved one keep his or her information and identity safe.
Secure Sensitive Information
Scammers are extremely creative when developing new ways to steal identities. Make sure your loved one stores his or her birth certificate, social security card, and other sensitive financial information in a safe place. For instance, these documents can be kept in a safe deposit box at the bank, or your loved one can purchase a lockbox to store them at home. Remind your loved one these documents should not be carried outside of the home unless he or she is attending an appointment where this information will be requested.
Shred Personal Documents
Seniors encounter hospital staff and many other people who have access to their personal information. Your loved one should either invest in a shredder or cut documents up into small strips before throwing them into the trash. The ultimate goal here is to ensure your loved one’s account numbers, social security number, and other personal information on the documents cannot be read if someone snoops through his or her garbage.
Be Wary of Telephone Scams
Many seniors who have their identities stolen are scammed via telephone. Thieves target seniors with the intent to trick or confuse them, especially seniors with memory-related conditions. The most common tactic is to scare a senior by claiming a grandchild or other family member is in serious legal or health trouble, which prompts the senior to give out credit card or banking information to “save” his or her family member. Stress to your loved one the importance of never giving out personal or financial information via telephone unless you are present.
Monitor Credit Reports
Your loved one is entitled to one free credit report each year. Checking this report gives him or her the opportunity to look for debts or newly opened accounts he or she is not actually responsible for. Your loved one should report these debts to the fraud department immediately, before more damage occurs.
To learn more about scams targeting the elderly and how your loved one can protect his or her identity, reach out to Home Care Assistance in Anchorage. We are a leading provider of part-time and live-in senior home care, offering comprehensive Parkinson’s, dementia, and stroke care Anchorage, AK, seniors can rely on and assistance with everyday tasks. For more information on our elder care services, call (907) 770-0907 today to request a complimentary consultation.