As baby boomers age, so do their parents. And more and more of them find themselves in the position of caregiver. As caregiver to an elderly person, one can clearly see the issues facing your loved one – and that includes identity theft.
The elderly are often a target for identity thieves because these criminals know that the elderly are far more trusting, and because they are often unfamiliar with newer technologies, they may also be an easy target.
If you are a caregiver, there are things you should be on the lookout for that may be phishing attempts or a thief’s attempt to take bits of your loved one’s identity and use it afoul. There are also things you can do to help protect your loved one.
• Get involved with your senior adult’s financial decisions, so that you are aware of any money that is being spent. It’s all too easy for a thief to fool an elderly person into sending them money.
• Don’t allow your senior to hire someone who shows up at his front door asking for work. They may be legit, but chances are, it’s a scam.
• Advise your senior to never give out personal or financial information over the telephone, especially if he didn’t initiate the call.
• If your senior is receiving an inordinate amount of promotional mailings or telemarketing materials or phone calls, it could mean he has been placed on what’s called a “sucker list.” This means your senior is being targeted, and a scam could be next.
• Stay abreast of the latest scams being circulated that are aimed at fooling the elderly. Keep your senior informed, and stay on top of the situation yourself.
While you don’t want to interfere with the independence of the senior adult you are caring for, you don’t want them victimized either. Make sure your loved one knows you are “in his business” because you care and want to protect him.