Money is the name of the game for all scam artists and identity thieves. They love to target people they identify as weak or incapable of pursuing them. Identity theft among the elderly has become a rapidly growing problem in this country, not only through online scams but also out and about in the real world. Learning how people try to con you and keeping a skeptical mentality will help prevent having your identity stolen and protect your assets at the same time. Read the tips below to learn the different ways you can protect yourself from identity theft.
Elder Abuse: Tips for Preventing Identity Theft
- Information is key. Everything from your social security to your name is something you should keep guarded against anyone and everyone. Use extreme caution when you absolutely need to give it out any personal information.
- Mailing bills is often the preferred method of payment for the elderly. However, when you put an important document in the mailbox, you leave yourself susceptible for thieves to swoop in and take that information for their own. Instead, deliver your mail directly to the post office or an official mail drop box for added security.
- Credit cards are the number one items stolen from elderly people. Today, thieves can use scanners to get the card number and use it without even stealing the physical card. A good method for protecting your cards is getting rid of ones you don’t use often and using caution when pulling out the cards you do use. They also make handy wallets that protect your cards from these scanners. They are even available at most convenience stores. You can also ask you bank about added card protection, better safe than sorry.
- Shred everything that contains your personal information. Identity thieves are not above digging through your trash to get your information. Invest in a shredder to make sure these documents are completely unreadable when you throw them away.
- The internet is probably the easiest way for identity thieves to get your information. However, there are many steps and procedures you can take to protect yourself from these online scammers (read Tips for Stopping Online Fraud).