5 Ways Seniors Can Safeguard Against Cyber Criminals Stealing Their Identity
The Best of Times|August 2020
As the use of personal computers and cell phones has grown over the last two decades, identity theft has surged. One study found that over 14 million consumers were victims of identity fraud in 2018, and that their out-of-pocket costs totaled $1.7 billion.

Seniors have been particularly vulnerable in recent years to online scams and telemarketing tricks. Unfortunately, another negative effect of COVID-19 has been scammers targeting seniors and the elderly by developing coronavirus hoaxes that prey on fears of the virus.

The growing problem of identity theft for all age groups makes it vital for consumers to develop a strategy to protect their devices, and those of their loved ones, although no system is perfect, says Chris Orestis (www.retirementgenius. com), a senior care advocate known as the Retirement Genius and president of LifeCare Xchange.

At a minimum, no one should give out their Social Security number to a stranger and should never click a link in an email from an unknown source. But cyber thieves have many ways to steal your identity, invade your computer, or raid your bank account and credit cards. What should you do to protect yourself from these scam artists and criminals?

“First, it’s important to understand that identity-theft protection services don’t actually stop identity theft,” Orestis says. “There is no fool-proof way to stop identity theft from happening; there are just too many different types of valuable information and avenues for cyber thieves to hack them.

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