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Best Identity Theft Protection for Seniors in 2022

Our experts have researched 14 identity theft protection services and recommend 10 of them for seniors.

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Top 10 Highest Ranked Identity Theft Protection for 2022

Your identity is critical to protect. It is much easier and safer to work towards preventing identity theft than trying to fix it later. Luckily, different programs exist to provide support and guidance to you. Most do the work for you, alerting you of a concern when one happens. With a wide range of options available today, these are the best identity theft protection options for seniors.

How We Chose the Best Identity Theft Protection for Seniors

A wide range of identity theft solutions exist today, but some are better than others. We assessed several criteria and compared providers to select the best identity theft protection options for seniors. The key for seniors is to look for a reliable product designed to provide high-quality customer service, reliable protection, and enhanced features. Generally speaking, it’s important to look for a company using the most up-to-date technology to monitor credit reports and other financial documents to ensure fast, reliable alerts. Most of the best companies also provide resolution services, meaning they work with you not just to identify the risk, but to fix the problems present. Other key features include credit monitoring, noncredit monitoring, black market surveillance, and Social Security monitoring.

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What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a serious issue around the world today, and the problem only seems to grow as the information age makes it so easy to hack into someone’s personal information. Essentially, identity theft occurs when an unauthorized party utilizes another person’s information, including their name, Social Security number, driver’s license, or financial information to commit a crime or fraud.

Unfortunately, people over the age of 65 are a primary target of identity theft not only through online sources, but by savvy individuals who prey on the elderly through a variety of scams and approaches. Because there are so many ways that older individuals can be taken advantage of, it’s a wise idea to consider the services offered by the best identity theft protection companies and enjoy greater peace of mind.

Why Do Older Adults Need Identity Theft Protection?

When it comes to identity theft, the main goal is to avoid becoming a victim in the first place. However, it’s important to keep in mind that no matter how diligent one is about shredding their mail and keeping online information private that it only takes one slip up—that may not be the victim’s fault whatsoever—for personal information to be compromised.

Pro Tip: Visit our guide to scams that target seniors to learn more about scams and tips for staying protected.

In fact, in the majority of ID theft incidents, the victim has no idea they’ve been targeted until tremendous damage has been done to their credit and reputation. This is why identity theft protection services can be an invaluable tool. These companies offer comprehensive credit and identification monitoring that alert customers when any suspicious activity is occurring concerning any of their personal information. Such services are highly beneficial for seniors who are at greater risk of becoming a target for scammers.

Why Are Seniors the Targets of Scams?

A sad truth is that nearly 90 percent of senior identity theft scams are performed by a family member. However, they are also targeted frequently by scammers unknown to them. This is due to a number of factors, but primarily because older adults tend to be more trusting and some lack tech skills. Furthermore, people over the age of 65 seem like prime targets because they often have greater home equity and savings, and they are less likely than other demographics to have credit and account monitoring services to protect their identity. There are countless types of schemes aimed to steal senior’s identities today.

Common Identity Scams Targeting the Elderly

Older individuals are often scammed for personal information via email, phone, wire transfer fraud, familiar fraud and even door-to-door advertising. Unfortunately, it only takes a small amount of personal information to steal one’s identity, and with a name, address and social security number alone a scammer has all they need. There are a variety of ways these individuals target seniors today including:

  • Credit card scams: Scammers often call with “exciting” new credit card offers with zero or low interest rates, and all they need to get you started is a bit of personal information…they may also be offering credit consolidation for a fairly high one-time ‘fee.’ These are typically scams, but the callers seem to know so much information about you that they seem legitimate. Robocalls getting individuals to answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions are becoming more common, and these are designed to be used by scammers to utilize voice signatures to make credit card charges.
  • Charity scams: Playing on the kindness and generosity of others—particularly after a major disaster occurs locally or nationally—scammers often contact older individuals seeking “donations.” This typically involves giving them your name, address and credit card number, which is ample information to not only make unauthorized charges but to also steal your entire identity.
  • Internet fraud: There are numerous online internet scams ranging from wire-transfers promising huge payouts for a small investment, to pop-ups and phishing scams that attempt to steal identities through emails and fake websites. There are even viruses that can lock down a victim’s computer until they pay a fee via credit card or wire transfer, which are attempts to get private information.
  • Health insurance scams: These schemes are easy for predators, as health insurance information and changes are readily available online. Scammers may approach seniors online, via mail, by phone or even come to the home seemingly armed with official company representative information. They often claim to be Medicare personnel and tell seniors they need a new card or to upgrade their policy and request their social security card to ‘process’ paperwork.

Other types of identity theft scams often involve health and beauty products, prescription medications, contests and prizes, social media theft, and too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities.

Key Identity Theft Protection Features Seniors Need Most

Here are several key theft protection options the elderly should look for when considering identity theft monitoring services.

  • Financial monitoring:This service is a staple of any reputable identity protection company and helps monitor financial actions taking place using the customer’s information. Financial issues like bank transactions, investments, savings accounts, 401K’s and even payday loans can be monitored and clients can receive immediate updates about suspicious activities.
  • Credit monitoring: Credit monitoring is vital to any identity theft protection service, and look for one that detects changes that occur amid the three major credit bureaus. These services will also often offer credit score reporting depending on the package requested.
  • Social Security monitoring: Another essential protection plan is to have Social Security monitoring services that utilizes public information, the dark web, and other places where your most private digits may be stored and or sold to the public. They’ll also look for any place that the customer’s social security number may be being fraudulently used.
  • Identity theft insurance coverage: The majority of ID theft protection services offer some level of stolen funds reimbursement, and premium policies often offer customers a set amount of emergency funds in case their available money and credit has been extended due to a scam or other type of identification or credit theft.
  • Dark web monitoring: This protection service allows clients to be made aware of potential cyber threats that may be occurring via what is known as the ‘dark web.’ The dark web is a place where scammers and individuals selling illegal goods—such as your private information—do their dirty work these days. Because it is challenging to monitor, the dark web is a hot spot for identity thieves seeking to buy or sell your private information.
  • Criminal monitoring: There are certain miscreants who steal another’s identification to use if they are facing sex offender registration or to dodge arrest warrants and/or tickets, etc. Criminal monitoring services scour the web and other public information sources and alert customers if their identity has been used for some sort of suspected criminal purpose or to evade legal action.
  • Social media monitoring: With social media monitoring services, seniors can rest easier knowing that hacker forums, the dark web and most social media sites are being constantly searched with state-of-the-art technology for identity theft concerns. These sites are often scraped for bits of information that can be combined to obtain enough data to steal one’s identity.
  • Real-time updates: When identity thieves and scammers strike, it’s important that you find out as soon as possible. Real-time updates are a must with any company.

Where to Find Identity Theft Protection Services

The best place to explore and enroll for identity theft protection services is online, but these companies are also available by phone. Occasionally, companies will send out mailings or put up door flyers advertising services. We recommend doing your homework first while keeping these top companies in mind when you need ID theft protection for yourself or a loved one.

Last-Minute Advice Concerning Senior Identity Theft

While this comprehensive guide for senior identity theft protection covers a wide range of concerns and top-quality solutions, it’s important that you take time to do a bit of research to ensure that the program meets your specific needs. Remember, con artists and identity thieves rely on certain aspects when targeting older adults: that they are unaware of how information can be stolen and used, that they are vulnerable and that they don’t have identity theft security solutions in place. Be aware and be prepared—consider investing in ID protection today.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

Citations
  1. Identity Guard. (2022). About Us