Senior citizens are a huge target for identity thieves
Everyone is a target for identity theft, but no group is more vulnerable to attacks than senior citizens.
2.6 million senior citizens were victims of identity theft in 2014, and that number is quickly rising. In fact, no other category of Americans are experience a higher rise in identity theft than senior citizens.
Why senior citizens are more susceptible to fraud
The key factor for why older people tend be targets for identity theft is because they typically have more money and assets than millennials, or families who are making payments on their mortgages and taking care of their children. And unlike younger generations, studies have shown that older generations are more likely to trust people and their motives.
UCLA also conducted a study which theorizes that older adults tend to have less activity in the parts of their brains that process risks and potential dangers.
How to protect against identity theft as a senior citizen
If you have a loved one or family member who’s older and needs help with identity assurance, it might be up to you to help them. Fortunately, a couple of easy steps can make the responsibility of identity proofing your loved ones a lot easier.
Make sure their caregivers are properly vetted
If a caregiver lives in the home or visits the house frequently, then they have unfettered access to all of your loved one’s sensitive data. Going through a caregiver company that does fingerprinting services for its employees will help ease your mind.
Keep an eye on their accounts
If you don’t see your loved one often, then at least make sure you can access their credit report. Senior citizens don’t tend to have drastic changes in their credit score. If you see a sudden change in their report, then act fast.
Talk to them about fraud
Some senior citizens are still under the impression that as long as they just hide their license and social security numbers they’ll be fine. It’s important to talk to them about the potentials of identity theft, and what they can do to prevent it. Older generations still want to do things for themselves, so it’s important that they’re involved in the conversation of how to protect their identity.