FBI Offers Tips on Avoiding Identity Theft For People Over 50

Posted on June 28, 2012

I recently reported about the danger of children having their identities stolen.  But kids are not the only at-risk demographic.  People who are older than 50 are also being increasingly targeted by scammers, with 3.5 million households with people in this age range having faced some form of identity theft, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has tips that can be followed to avoid potential fraud, especially as it concerns being contacted by scammers over the phone.  So-called charities and other companies you’re not familiar with should immediately set off warning bells.  If someone calls you seeking money, ask them to send along some form of documentation, and then review this documentation to confirm its legitimacy.  You’re also well within your rights to ask for identification and business information.

Health insurance fraud is another way thieves are targeting older individuals.  Guard any insurance or Medicaid information the same way you would a bank account.  Blank claim forms should never be signed, and you should develop a rapport with your medical providers so that you know exactly what you’re going to be billed for and what you’re covered on.

In addition, keep detailed records of your various medical visits.  That way, you know if a bill you receive is legitimate or not.  Don’t give any information to entities that haven’t provided healthcare services to you, and don’t engage with medical device salesmen who contact you directly.  Their claims might seem too good to be true, and they almost always are.

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