Identity theft is a horrible situation to go through, but for many of the nation’s elderly population, it can be almost impossible to endure. Here are some ways thieves take advantage of the elderly, and tips on how you can protect yourself or your aging loved ones.
Identifying ID Theft
Senior citizens are a major target for ID thieves and lose $3 billion a year in financial scams. The most common types of fraud among seniors are fake sweepstakes, fraudulent business or investment opportunities or scams where thieves pose as family or friends in emails.
A Vulnerable Population
There are a few reasons why seniors are more susceptible to ID theft and scams. Seniors tend to have a larger amount of cash in savings, making them ideal targets. They also tend to visit doctor’s offices more often and they use government services like Social Security, both of which are victims of frequent hacking. Some seniors could be suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s that leave them with less ability to make sound decisions.
Be on the Lookout for These Scams
Here are the most prevalent senior theft scams:
- Repairman scams – fake repairmen will appear at the door of a senior, telling them they need to have something repaired quickly in their home, and if they fail to do so, their safety is at risk. These thieves are just looking for a quick way in to steal credit cards, checkbooks or other personal information. Or the senior will receive a call from someone claiming that software needs to be replaced on their computer and demand a credit card number to clear the victim’s computer of viruses.
- Medicare fraud – Fake Medicare representatives will call and request personal information to complete a medical record.
- IRS scams – These calls usually start around tax season and threaten the senior with arrest or foreclosure for unpaid back taxes and will demand immediate payment over the phone.
These are only some of the ways that seniors are taken advantage of by heartless criminals. If you believe you or a loved one are a victim of identity theft, give Jeff Manciagli a call at (404) 642-9080 or visit us here to schedule a free initial consultation.
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