Identify theft is one of the fast-growing crimes in the United States. Although anyone can be a target, many seniors are at a higher risk for fraud schemes and identity theft. While technology and social factors contribute to the reasons for this trend, it’s also important to realize that many seniors have accumulated a certain amount of wealth, making them a primary target for criminals. For this reason, Baywoods of Annapolis has compiled a list of 4 ways you can lower your risk for identity theft and fraud schemes.
- Identity Protection Services – This is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself or your loved ones from identity theft. These services monitor credit bureaus, personal information, the internet, and a variety of other platforms to help ensure your identity is protected. According to NextAdvisor, the top 3 are:
- Phone & Door-to-Door Scams – Two of the most common scams targeting seniors are from unwanted callers or salespeople going door-to-door. There are two quick and easy ways to avoid these scams:
- Never provide someone who called you with your personal information. If they represent they are with the bank of credit card company, hang up and get your statement and call them back using the number listed on your statement.
- Don’t answer your door if you do not know the person that is knocking on it.
- Emails – Many thieves will use an email to solicit your personal information. These emails may look legitimate. They may use the same logo and wording as your actual bank or credit card provider. These emails often have links asking you to log into your account and/or telling you that your account may be canceled. Remember, legitimate businesses will not ask you to provide this type of personal information in an email.
- Threats – In recent years, criminals have represented themselves as IRS agents claiming that if a tax bill is not paid immediately, their bank account may be shut down. It’s important to remember that the IRS would never communicate in this manner. Any threat that is ever received should be reported to the police immediately.
Although no one can be protected from every threat, educating seniors on the methods and best practices is helpful. Family members can also keep close tabs on bank accounts and theft identity services.
Baywoods of Annapolis is a local retirement community that cares deeply about our residents and the needs of seniors. Our team is happy to share our resources and experience with you! If you’d like more information on Baywoods of Annapolis, contact us today!