Identity theft typically spikes during the holiday season, and as such, it’s worth reiterating the fact that elders may be at an increased risk of becoming victims of identity theft. In fact, according to information provided by the FTC, “Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to this crime because their personal information may be easily accessible by numerous individuals.”
Fortunately, The Hanover Insurance Group has provided terrific tips for keeping your identity safe over the holidays. We’ve selected just a few, but the entire article can be viewed on the Wall Street Journal online, by clicking here.
• Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet or write it on your checks.
• Don’t leave your credit card visible for extended time. ID thieves can quickly write down your card number, or may even try to take pictures of it with their mobile devices.
• Watch out for “shoulder surfers.” Use your free hand to shield the keypad when using checkout key pads and ATMs.
• Keep a paper trail. Save records of your online transactions. Read your credit card statements as soon as you get them and, if there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.
Financial abuse of the elderly is a crime. If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of identity theft while in the care of a California nursing home, please be sure to contact law enforcement and Adult Protective Services.
Financial abuse of elders occurs in many forms. It is a civil and often criminal offense. Christopher C. Walton is a San Diego, California based elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving elder abuse & neglect. If you believe you or somebody you know has been a victim of elder abuse, please call (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced elder abuse attorney.