Identity theft is a serious concern for all Americans, but senior citizens can be particularly vulnerable. Thieves often target the elderly, because they are perceived to be more trusting and easy to swindle. A recent $20 million telephone scam which mostly victimized older Americans has highlighted the importance of protecting senior citizens against identity theft.
A shocking report by ABC News revealed that fraudsters have compiled a “sucker list” of people believed to be easy marks. Thieves buy the sucker list for the names and contact information of individuals who are likely to fall for their scams. The sad thing is that many of the “suckers” are elderly citizens. In the recent $20 million dollar sweepstakes scam, many of the victims were targeted because they had previously returned sweepstakes entry forms filled out with shaky handwriting that indicated the writer might be elderly. The scam itself was a tried-and-true pitch: callers inform victims that they have won a windfall in a sweepstakes, and all they need to do to claim it is provide their personal information for tax purposes. A few moments of misguided trust can result in revealing the details needed for a thief to steal a person’s identity and ruin their good name.
Identity theft protection experts like those at Credit Protection Pro point out that senior citizens can also be more vulnerable to credit and identity theft scams because they may be less likely to utilize online banking and other tools to closely monitor their accounts. For this reason, experts advise that the grown children of elderly parents make a point to be involved in their parents’ financial lives as much as they can without overstepping boundaries. Caretakers of senior citizens should use the opt-out and do not call lists so that their parents will be less likely to receive unsolicited offers which may or may not be legitimate. The United States Postal Service has a website www.deliveringtrust.com that has information on how to prevent fraud and what to do if one has been victimized.
One of the best ways to ensure peace of mind is to sign up for credit monitoring services which will issue alerts if a consumer’s data is being misused. Identity theft protection services which offer extensive preventative security are also an excellent idea for senior citizens, especially those who might be on a “sucker list”. These services can help protect the life savings of an elderly American who might otherwise fall victim to an unscrupulous identity thief.
For more information on the best credit monitoring services, visit www.creditprotectionpro.com. They are a service dedicated to wiping out identity theft and credit fraud. Credit Protection Pro has information on all the latest identity theft scams and alerts on their website so that consumers can learn how to protect themselves. In addition, they offer independent professional reviews of credit monitoring services like Identity Guard. Contact Credit Protection Pro at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to protect your credit score and identity.
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