How can I protect senior loved ones from identity theft?

Identity theft is the most common form of consumer crime, and seniors are at greater risk. Take the following actions to protect your loved one from this malfeasance:
  • Shred all documents containing personal identification information (including bank statements, credit card statements and receipts, new credit card offers).
  • Closely guard your loved one's Social Security number. Keep his or her Social Security card out of his or her wallet or purse, if possible.
  • The less information that appears on their checks, the better. Do not include a home phone number or a Social Security number, and consider having his or her first initial rather than first name printed on the checks.
  • Do not let him or her sign the back of any credit cards. Write “Photo ID required” instead.
  • Make sure his or her PINs and passwords are not easily discernible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.