How to Protect Seniors from Scams and Identity Theft
December 12, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
Identity theft can have a devastating impact on your elder parent’s life. With identity theft, a criminal can take your elder parent’s personal or financial information and use it for their own gain. This might mean clearing out their bank accounts, taking out credit cards or loans in their name, filing fraudulent insurance claims, seeking medical treatment or prescriptions in their name, or other issues.
This can lead to financial and personal devastation that can be extremely difficult for your loved one to get past. As a family caregiver, it is a critical part of the care that you give your loved ones that you protect them from identity theft.
8 Tips for Protecting Aging Parents from Scams and Identity Theft
Use these tips to help protect your elder parent from identity theft and scams:
Never give their Social Security number to anyone who is not readily identifiable as being from a legitimate company, especially through email or over the phone.
Never write out their Social Security number and leave it somewhere where it can be easily found.
Discourage them from ever leaving their purse, wallet, or other personal items unattended.
Do not post any information that could be used as readily identifiable information on their social media accounts. This could include their date of birth, pets’ names, mother’s maiden name, old addresses, or other details.
Sign up for alerts from their bank or payment accounts that will send a message any time the account is used.
Never provide passwords or PINs through email, text message, or over the phone.
Freeze the account immediately if you see any suspicious activity.
Contact credit card companies and request that they do not send any credit card offers to your parent. Do the same for any other company that might offer such services, such as retailers.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Care Services in Florida
If you are concerned about your elder parent’s security and well-being, or simply believe that they would benefit from more diverse care and support, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder home care for them. An in-home elder care services provider can create a highly personalized approach to care, support, assistance, and encouragement designed to ensure that your loved one gets exactly what they need to keep them safe, healthy, happy, comfortable, and engaged throughout their later years.
They can also be with your parent on a fully customized schedule, meaning that they are there with your elder loved one when they need them, but you can still give them all of the care and assistance that you can or want to give.
When it comes to helping protect them from potentially serious issues such as identity theft, this elder home care provider can help your parent understand the risks that they face and what they can do to avoid them. This can include supervising their use of the internet to ensure they are benefitting from it but also avoiding potentially dangerous situations, answering their phone for them, or reviewing their mail so that they can work with you to identify issues, avoid poor choices, and act quickly if something does occur.