While identity theft can happen to anyone, scammers target seniors more than other age groups. There’s no one specific reason for this, but there are steps one can take to reduce the chances of identity theft and fraud.
Run background checks on any potential caregiver. Regrettably, many instances of identity theft are not committed by strangers but rather those who care for seniors. Background checks are essential, either self-conducted or using a care agency that conducts their own.
Educate people about common scams. The IRS publishes a “Dirty Dozen” list every year that details the most common scams being pulled at the moment. That list is linked below. There are also occasionally stories about local scams in the newspapers.
Shred all financial documents or sensitive mail that contains any type of personal information.
Cut up any old or expired credit cards.
Keep careful track of bank accounts and financial records. This way you can catch fraud early and prevent it from becoming worse. There are also businesses that provide this kind of service.
Identity theft is disruptive when it happens. With some precautions, we can reduce the chances of it happening.