August 02, 2023
Identity theft is a growing concern in today's digital and physical world. Unfortunately, seniors are often some of those most targeted by scammers. Elder fraud, as it is commonly known, poses a significant threat to the financial security and well-being of older adults. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), in 2022, it received fraud reports totaling $530 million in losses. Of those losses, more than $9.2 million was reported lost to grandparent/emergency scams.
Seniors are targets for identity theft due to several factors. Many older adults have accumulated significant assets and wealth throughout their lives, such as properties, savings accounts, and retirement accounts, making them appealing targets for scammers seeking financial gain.
Additionally, aging and health issues can make seniors more vulnerable and easier to manipulate. Those who live alone may be more trusting of strangers due to feelings of loneliness. Seniors may also hesitate to report fraud due to embarrassment or fear of being perceived as incapable of managing their finances. These factors combined make seniors ideal targets for identity theft, prompting the need to promote education about the most common types of scams and provide recommendations that can help seniors protect themselves from malicious individuals.
Numerous financial scams specifically target seniors, and these often involve physical documents. According to the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime report on elder abuse, the most prevalent ones include, but not limited to:
Seniors can take proactive measures to protect their personal information from identity theft. Here are three recommendations:
Seniors should remain vigilant and implement preventive measures to help safeguard their personal information. Utilizing services like Shred-it® can help safeguard against identity theft.
Learn more about how Shred-it® can help protect seniors from identity theft with secure document destruction services.