Identity theft might seem like something of a “scare tactic”; a threat to keep people from giving their personal information out to strangers. You might not know, though, that this threat is actually very real, and that the elderly are a prime target for identity thieves.
There are many ways for an elderly person to get their identity stolen. They can range from something as simple as dropping their wallet while they are out and having their credit card stolen, to something as complex as a phishing scam. Fortunately, though, for as many ways as there are to get one’s identity stolen, there are just as many things you can do to protect it.
Here is a list of just a few ways you, as your loved one’s elderly care provider, can prevent their identity from being stolen:
- Do a wallet check. It is tough for seniors to get in and out of the car sometimes, and this is the perfect time for a wallet or purse to fall out onto the concrete in a parking lot or the driveway. Always check that your loved one has their wallet or purse before you head into wherever you are going, and do a few checks once you’re inside too, if the area seems like a good place for pickpockets to work.
- Never give out personal information via email. A doctor’s office or hospital will never have you fill out information via a form that is emailed to you. If you get an email asking for your loved one’s personal information, like social security number, maiden name, etc., don’t answer it. If you think it may really be from your loved one’s doctor, call the office to make sure before filling anything out.
- Shred all personal documents. Before you recycle any bills or documents with your loved one’s personal information on them, be sure to shred them so that none of the information is legible. Once the papers are in the garbage or recycling, it is easy for them to fall into the wrong hands, and all of your loved one’s information will be compromised.
- Don’t give out information over the phone. If someone calls telling you that you or your loved one has won a fantastic contest you never entered, don’t believe it! They will ask for your personal information, and use it to steal your identities. Never give out anything like a social security number over the phone – if the person calling is legitimate, like someone at a doctor’s office or bank, they won’t ask you to.
All of these tips can help to keep your aging loved one safe from identity theft, but you should also follow them too. Identity theft is common among the elderly population, but nothing says that their elderly care provider’s identity couldn’t be stolen as well. You must be constantly vigilant about how and where you use and give out personal information if you want to avoid becoming an identity thief’s next victim.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Crawfordville, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.