Phishing scams and techniques are becoming much more sophisticated, leading many people to fall victim. Phishing occurs when a person or group is attempting to gain sensitive information about you or your senior loved one through nefarious means. If you interact with a phishing message, your financial information as well as your identity can be easily compromised.
Avoid Interacting with Emails and Text Messages that Ask for Personal Information
If you or your senior loved one are getting text messages or emails that ask for personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, or even just a phone number or address, this is a warning sign. Delete these types of messages right away and avoid clicking any links or even replying.
Deal Directly with Companies and Financial Institutions via Phone
Sometimes these emails and text messages can sound pretty genuine. If you are concerned that a particular company, bank, or other entity really do need additional information, contact them directly. Use the customer service number that you get directly from the company rather than any contact information from a suspect email. That way you can get to the bottom of the request.
Put a Security Suite on Your Computer
If you don’t already use some type of antivirus software on your computer, you need to do so right away. Many Internet service providers offer a suite of security software to their customers, so contact your ISP and find out what you need to do in order to install protective software on your computer.
Review Your Bank, Credit Card, and Other Statements Regularly
You don’t have to go about protecting yourself solely on the digital front, however. As a family caregiver, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and be too busy to deal with your own mail, but don’t skip it. Review your statements regularly so that you can spot discrepancies and potential problems right away. The sooner you spot a problem, the easier it is to fix it and to track the culprit.
If you’re not sure whether you or your senior loved one have been scammed, look into identity protection services that can watch your back.