In this day and age, identity theft is unfortunately a very large part in the world and sadly enough, senior citizens are often a very large target. It is extremely important that you understand how to protect yourself and your identity.
If you ever receive a phone call from an unknown caller asking you for personal information, usually the best thing you can do is tell them you’re not interested and hang up. This will apply even if you have caller ID because in this day and age, anyone can manipulate themselves to seem as if they are someone else. They could be pretending to be your bank, or from Medicare, or the FBI. Nobody from Medicare should be calling you and asking for personal information nor should the FBI. If they are claiming to be your bank, offer to call them back and call the direct number to your bank.
Social Security Number
Your social security number is your own personal identity, make sure you treat it as such. Never carry your social security card or your Medicare card with you as your Medicare number IS your social security number. If you need to carry something with you for your health care providers, make a photocopy of your Medicare card and black out the last four digits of your Medicare number, your doctor should accept it. If you are visiting a new doctor or health care provider, you may need to take your Medicare card with you. If this is so, make sure to keep it securely in one place and to take it out of your purse or wallet immediately upon return and to put it back into the same safe place as before.
You can’t go very far without credit these days which is why it is extremely important to protect it. Make sure to always review your credit card statements, even if you haven’t been using your credit card to be sure that there are no unauthorized purchases to your account. Also be sure to check your Medicare statements as well. If you see any unauthorized medical statements, contact Medicare immediately. Never assume that because Medicare is paying that it is Medicare’s problem. If down the line you need a wheelchair, scooter, or a hip replacement and your Medicare account has been used in fraud, Medicare will more than likely deny the request. Another huge part is to make sure your credit score is accurate. Make sure to review all sections and that they are all correct. If you see a mistake in your credit, call up the credit reporting agency immediately.
Unfortunately identity theft is a scary but large part in society. If you take the preventable steps and are always aware, you should be able to live a life that’s yours and yours only. If you want to know more about this topic please contact us.
About Senior Path:
We are a professional, senior housing advisory service which provides personal attention to Seniors and their families. We employ a staff of talented, caring Advisors who have vast experience helping Seniors and their families through this transition. Our Advisors have extensive backgrounds in the Senior Care industry enabling them to understand what Seniors want and need.