Most people living in the digital age use cellphones, computers, and other electronics that help them access the Internet. Though some seniors may be hesitant to embrace modern technology, many others are accepting it. However, the use of these electronics has also caused problems with identity theft, and seniors in particular are often seen as easy targets. The Perth, WA, elderly care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss the threats seniors face from identity theft, both online and offline, and offer tips to help your elderly loved one prevent this crime.
Why Seniors Are Targeted So Often
Some seniors are not technologically savvy enough to know when their identities have been stolen, and they may not even find out about the crime until a great deal of damage has already been done. They may also be unsure how to protect themselves from becoming targets of identity theft in the first place. Because many seniors have a trusting nature, thieves often have an easier time getting them to believe these scams.
Unique Ways Seniors Can Have Their Identities Stolen
Though seniors can have their identities stolen in many of the same ways younger adults can, there are a few special cases you and your loved one should watch for. Many seniors prefer keeping paper records instead of using the Internet for banking or making purchases, and they may not remember to shred their confidential information before throwing it away, which leaves a paper trail accessible to identity thieves. Additionally, seniors are more likely to have their identities stolen if they do shop, bank, or pay bills online because many do not know how to protect themselves. Thieves sometimes make direct contact with seniors, pretending to be a legitimate business or charity to get “donations” or personal information.
How to Help Seniors Prevent Identity Theft
With seniors at high risk for having their identities stolen, it’s important to learn how to protect your loved one. Here are a few strategies that may help:
Secure personal documents – It’s dangerous for seniors to carry around their tax file numbers or other highly sensitive information in their wallets. Encourage your loved one to keep documents like these at home in a safe place.
Shred sensitive information – If your loved one is still paying bills by mail or receiving bank statements or any sort of compensation through the mail, invest in a paper shredder so he or she can shred personal information before throwing it away.
Don’t give out personal information over the phone – Not everyone who calls and claims to represent a certain company is legitimate. Discuss calls like this with your loved one so you can help determine if the caller is someone looking for a target. If the call turns out to be fraudulent, your loved one should give the phone number to the police.
Practice online security – When making online transactions, your loved one should use a well-known service like PayPal. Your loved one can also sign up for a company like LifeLock, which can monitor his or her identity, credit cards, and bank accounts for suspicious activity.
For additional tips to help your loved one prevent identity theft and other scams, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke home care Perth seniors can rely on, and our dedicated caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with a wide array of important tasks. For more information, please call [hca_phone] today.