While elder abuse comes in many forms, an important one that you should be aware of is identity theft. Because your elderly family member could be facing complications associated with age, he or she may be more vulnerable to falling prey to costly theft. In your effort to provide protection to your loved one and educate him or her on the signs of fraudulent activity, you may wish to familiarize yourself with what can be done to prevent identity theft.
Reducing the accessibility of your family member’s financial accounts, assets and records are important to make sure that no one who is not authorized is able to access sensitive personal information. Taking into consideration the wishes of your loved one, decide who should have access to this information and the jurisdiction to handle finances or make financial decisions on his or her behalf if they become incapacitated.
According to Experian.com, all requests from government agencies alleging that your family member has unpaid dues will always arrive in the mail and with information that clearly identifies the sender. Requests for this type of information which come in the form of emails, phone calls or texts should be completely ignored. If your family member still has his or her own phone, help to manage the contact information of close family members and friends so it is more recognizable if an unknown number is trying to call.
Help your loved one find a secure place to store important documents such as their social security card, so it is not being carried around in public. Regularly checking your family member’s financial records and verifying that all incoming and outgoing charges are legitimate and recognized can help prevent fraudulent charges from causing financial distress long term.