Educating your elderly parents about identity theft

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2021 | Elder Law & Estate Planning

Misuse of finances and identity theft are both forms of elder abuse in Minnesota. As your parent’s age, you can educate them on how to stay safe from thieves. Teaching them strategies for protecting their assets can help them avoid the disappointment of losing what they have worked so hard to build.

You will also want to know the warning signs of identity theft so you can intervene right away if your parents lack the mental capacity to manage their own finances.

Defining identity theft

One of the best ways to help your parents avoid having their identities stolen is to educate them about what identity theft looks like. According to Experian, some of the methods thieves may use include military I.D. theft, tech scams, Medicare fraud, and IRS impersonation. Scammers can also use robocalls to notify your parents of free vacations or prizes they won in a raffle or giveaway.

Preventing identity theft

Identity theft can destroy your parent’s financial reserves and leave them with nothing. In serious cases, identify theft can take years to correct and your parents may never fully recover their losses. Some of the things you can encourage your parents to do to prevent identity theft include the following:

  • Monitor bank accounts and credit card statements
  • Refrain from sharing personal information on social media
  • Avoid carrying sensitive information such as a social security card
  • Reset personal passwords every few months

You may also encourage your parents to have a durable power of attorney which allows you or someone else they trust to oversee financial decisions if they suffer incapacitation.