Norwalk, CT (PRWEB) August 24, 2006
As reported cases of identity fraud continue to grow, the number of seniors getting taken in by fraudulent offers climbs ever higher as well, reports AP9 Privacy Matters 1-2-3, a leading security membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC.
Whether it’s because they were raised during a kinder, more trusting era or it’s due to the lapses in concentration that sometimes come with age, senior citizens tend to be easier targets for identity fraud than the overall U.S. population. (That’s not to say that younger folks have less to worry about, of course. Identity thieves can and will target anyone at any time.) Because many seniors live on fixed incomes, identity fraud can hit them the hardest, emptying their bank accounts and leaving them with little or no way to recoup their losses.
Prevention and quick detection are often the best defenses against identity fraud. AP9 Privacy Matters 123 therefore offers a few tips to help seniors protect themselves against this crime:
--Don’t trust incoming calls. Even if you have an unlisted number, anyone on the planet can stumble across your number and call you. The chances that a stranger is calling to offer you a great deal are low. If the caller is offering you something that appeals to you, ask for the name of his or her company and a callback number. Research the company before returning the call. If you can’t find any information or if the company seems questionable, throw away the phone number.
--Guard your personal data diligently. Never give your Social Security number, credit card number, bank account number or even your home address to incoming callers. Only share your financial information if you’re making a purchase with a legitimate company during a phone call that you initiated.
--Shred the evidence. Use a paper shredder to destroy any unnecessary or duplicate documents that may contain sensitive, identity-specific information, including unsolicited credit card offers and other direct-mail pieces that thieves can use to create accounts in your name.
--Build firewalls. Install computer software programs to protect your computer from spyware, hackers, viruses and other Internet threats. A small investment now can save you thousands of dollars down the road.
--Safeguard your mailbox. Don’t leave outgoing mail in an unprotected mailbox overnight or over the weekend. Thieves can steal rent checks, credit card payments and other valuable or identity-specific materials from unlocked mailboxes.
--Monitor your credit reports regularly. As soon as you spot questionable or unauthorized activity on your credit report, contact the credit bureau to place a fraud alert on your credit report, and investigate the matter immediately.
While it’s impossible to wipe out identity fraud as long as there are potential victims, there are a number of measures you can take to avoid being taken in yourself. The first step is to recognize that your identity is potentially at risk in a variety of situations, and the next step is to get into the habit of protecting yourself wherever such a risk exists, notes AP9 Privacy Matters 1-2-3.
About AP9 Privacy Matters 1-2-3
AP9 Privacy Matters 1-2-3 is a leading security and privacy membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in both membership and loyalty programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at PrivacyMatters. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs such as AP9 Privacy Matters 1-2-3.
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