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Tips to Protect Your Elderly Parents from Identity Theft

Identity fraud involving elderly individuals is not uncommon – in fact, older persons are often targeted specifically by identity thieves seeking financial gain. To protect yourself, your parents or loved ones from identity theft, follow these 10 tips recommended by Experian.

  1. Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away.
  2. Never respond to cold phone calls or e-mails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.
  3. Don’t give too much away on networking websites. For example, pets’ names or children’s names could be used as passwords.
  4. Register to vote at your current address. If you don’t, thieves could use your previous address details to open new credit accounts and run up debt in your name.
  5. Monitor your mail regularly so you know when to expect important documents — and when to act if they don’t arrive.
  6. If you move to a new home, redirect your mail through the postal service.
  7. Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible. At the very least, have a unique password for each type of service provider, such as financial services, retail services and email.
  8. Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in email, as a note, or to auto-complete when you open a website or app. It will be a goldmine for fraudsters if your device is lost or stolen.
  9. Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions.
  10. Check your credit report regularly for suspicious applications and spending.

Source: Experian

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