Identity Guard Advises Older Americans on the Identity Theft Risks Specific to their Generation and Encourages Them to Be More Proactive in Protecting their Personal Information
CHANTILLY, VA - June 4, 2013 – According to a recent report released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) nearly 36% of identity theft complaints were reported by consumers 50 years of age and older. That same report also found Florida, which has a strong retiree presence, ranked as the number one state for having the most identity theft complaints across the U.S. As an advocate for educating consumers about the risks of identity theft, Identity Guard, a leader in identity theft protection, encourages older Americans to protect their personal information and is providing tips to help protect them from becoming a victim.
While this demographic may be just one subset of the various age groups being targeted by identity thieves, the emotional and financial toll of identity theft can have profound consequences on older Americans, leaving them with financial hardships and feeling a lack of trust in those they have come to depend on.
"Identity theft hits people of all ages, from children to octogenarians – we all have personally identifiable information which is valuable to identity thieves. Unfortunately, older Americans are becoming more susceptible to fraudsters as they likely have more information from years of building their nest egg and is easier to gain access to," said Steve Schwartz, President of Identity Guard. "The best way to help protect yourself or a loved one from becoming a victim of identity theft is to be aware of the risks and know the preventative steps to take.
Identity Guard is committed to educating consumers about identity protection and has compiled a list of tips for older Americans to help them protect what they have worked so hard to achieve:
- Review your medical statements. Keep a calendar of all your medical appointments as a tool to compare each time you receive your Explanation of Benefits; ensuring services were indeed rendered by you on the day you had the appointment.
- Keep your personal information locked away. As there are may be more people coming into your home to provide extra care services; such as meal deliveries, cleaning companies, and at-home nursing care, be cautious not to leave any personal information lying around on counters, desks, coffee tables, etc.
- Never volunteer personal information over the phone. Unless you are the one initiating the call, never provide your personal or financial information over the phone, even if the caller identifies themselves as a loved one who is in trouble, immediately needing money; more commonly known as "The Grandparent Scam".
- Beware of free services scams. Oftentimes services such as free transportation and free meals are offered in exchange for providing them with a copy of your driver's license. Use caution when approached by these services and always research to be sure they are legitimate before handing over any personal information.
- Monitor your financial statements. Take the time to review your financial statements as soon as you receive them, immediately reporting any discrepancies, to avoid any further potential fraud from taking place.
- Think before you click. Cyber criminals can use such tactics such as phishing email messages to install malicious software on your computer. Never click on a link someone sends to you asking you to provide sensitive information such as bank account information.
To sign up today for Identity Guard's award-winning comprehensive identity monitoring service, please visit: www.identityguard.com.
About Identity Guard
Identity Guard is a proactive identity and credit protection service that delivers premium solutions to help busy families and individuals take control over their personal and private information. Our services help educate and empower individuals to protect themselves from the growing threat of identity theft with premier identity protection and credit monitoring solutions. Identity Guard is provided by Intersections Inc. (NASDAQ: INTX), who, since 1996, has protected more than 35 million consumers.