Seniors are at a higher risk for identity theft than the rest of the population. Malicious people profit by targeting the trusting nature of seniors and taking advantage of their lack of expertise with modern technology. The issue is further complicated if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, where confusion and other cognitive symptoms are common. You may not be able to stop every attempt at identify theft, but there are things you can do to protect your elderly family member from these types of scams.
Invest in a Shredder
To begin with, invest in a quality shredder. Too many cases of identity theft stem from old discarded documents winding up in the hands of crooks, who can exploit the data for their own needs. Shredding unnecessary personal and financial documents can help alleviate this.
Guard Credit Cards
Make sure your elderly loved ones are properly guarding and storing their credit cards and other valuables. In addition to the card itself, it is important that the card and CCV number are not disclosed to anyone but the most trusted people, especially when someone calls on the phone and claims that a family member is in trouble and requires money.
Invest in a Safe
Towards that end, it’s best to invest in a high-quality safe to store important papers and valuables. Remember you get what you pay for. You certainly don’t want a cheap safe. Make sure that both its construction and its combination system are sturdy. It is important that you or another trusted caregiver knows the combination, as a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may forget.
Don’t Give Out Personal Info
One of the great challenges of our online age is figuring out how to balance the great propensity towards sharing everything versus the security risk. Realizing that sharing everything openly carries a higher risk that someone will take the information we share and use it for wrongful ends. That goes for protecting elderly loved ones from identity theft, too—internet scams work precisely by exploiting their trust. Ensuring that your elderly loved ones don’t give out personal info—online or in person—to those who don’t need it can be a crucial step in cutting down the overall risk of identity theft.
Verify Sites as Safe
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that their browsing experience itself is safe. Here, you’ll want to do things like installing antivirus, adblock, anti-phishing, and firewall software on their computers so as to prevent threats.
To learn more about protecting your elderly loved ones from identity theft or to discuss in-home Alzheimer’s care or dementia care options, call Qualicare Family Homecare at 613.366.2899.
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