Tips for Older Adults

Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft & Financial Abuse

If you suspect that you have been victimized, call the Elder Abuse hotline immediately at 800-490-8505.

Check Your Credit Reports Regularly

Order a copy of your credit report every year.

Opt-out of Credit Marketing Lists

Call 888-567-8688 to opt-out of telemarketer calls, your social security number will be required.

Keep Your Mail Safe

Use a locked mailbox to send and receive mail securely.

Shred Trash with Identifying Information

Use a cross cut shredder to ensure your private information stays private.

Keep Your Social Security Number Confidential

Don't carry your Social Security Card, keep it in a secure place and only remove it when needed.

Be Aware of Impostors, Frauds & Scams

Don't give out personal information. This applies to the phone, mail or over the internet. Ask questions!

Lock It up

Keep your personal information locked up at home.

Use Safety on the Internet

The Internet is a huge part of many people’s everyday lives. It’s fun, useful, and informative, but can also be dangerous, no matter how safe you feel while browsing. By getting into the habit of using good Internet safety practices, you can protect your information and your identity for years to come.

The Crime of the 21st Century

Financial abuse or exploitation has become so widespread that nearly one in nine seniors have reported some kind of financial abuse, and 1 in 20 seniors have reported perceived financial mistreatment. The National Adult Protective Services Association, calling the Financial Elder Abuse The Crime of the 21st Century, adds that while the abuse can take many forms, from charity scams to outright identity theft, nearly 90% of abusers are family members and trusted others.

The best recourse against financial abuse is taking steps to prevent it in the first place. Create a strong support system; have multiple family conversations, over time, about the status of not just physical, mental and emotional fitness, but financial fitness too; and always have checks in place to check those who should be checking on you.