Unfortunately, seniors are at high risk for identity theft and fraud. It’s important to inform seniors that they could be targets for fraud and help them avoid being victims of scams or identity theft. Here are a few tips to help protect seniors from fraudulent activity.
If your loved ones are planning to shop online for the holidays, give them a friendly reminder to be cautious about where they are shopping and putting their credit card information online. A website that has multiple pop-ups may not be safe. Large retailers are the most credible when it comes to online shopping.
Scammers are known to send out emails from foreign countries claiming they need large sums of money. They ask for personal information such as bank account and social security numbers. Sometimes they even hack an email address and send emails to everyone in the contact list pretending to be the person who owns the email address. If you receive a suspicious email from a friend in your contact list claiming he/she needs money, it’s best to call your friend directly and let him know his/her email account has possibly been hacked.
Fraudulent activity also occurs through email by asking seniors to update or verify their personal information. Some fraudsters pose as the IRS asking for personal information needed for a fake tax refund. Remember that government agencies, banks, and credit unions will never ask you to verify or update your information via email. If you receive an email from one of these institutions and are unsure if the request is legitimate, it’s best to call the customer service number on the company’s website.
Over the past few years, the most common form of fraudulent activity being reported was phone scams. Considering seniors are more likely to have landlines than other generations, it’s critical to help seniors understand they could be at risk. Explain to them the scenarios where someone might call them and trick them into giving out their credit card information or other personal information. As family members and caregivers it’s important to educate seniors and keep them protected from fraudulent activity.
With several security breaches in the healthcare and retail industry in 2015, be sure your loved ones are constantly checking their bank accounts and credit card balances. Security breaches can happen to anyone at any time. Setting aside time monthly, or even weekly, to review credit card and bank statements can ensure the money is secure at all times. While money can be a sensitive subject, it’s important to explain to seniors the seriousness of security breaches in today’s world of digital transactions and cyber crimes.
There are several identify theft protection programs for seniors out there. These programs monitor basic personal information, including name, address, social security number and bank accounts. Programs like IdentityForce will even monitor medical benefit plans to ensure your friends and family are the only ones using them. Other identity protection programs monitor unauthorized loans taken out in your name. The prices of each program vary, so research and determine which one best suits your loved one’s needs.
The caretakers are QHC Management are more than happy to discuss concerns from family members or their residents about identity theft and fraud.
If you or a loved one is affected by identity theft or fraud, contact the police department right away. Also, be sure to contact your bank to alert them about the fraudulent activity that has taken place.
Posted on November 19, 2015 at 5:45 pm
Our company was founded in 1977 by Kenneth Webb under the name Quality Health Care Specialists, Corp. In 2011, Jerry and Nancy Voyna became the proud owners after 20+ years of service within the company home office. At that time Jerry and Nancy changed the name of the company to QHC Management, LLC and QHC Facilities, LLC, respectively. QHC Management oversees the operations of QHC Facilities and in total there are 11 facilities; nine skilled nursing homes and two assisted living facilities.