Thinking about credit monitoring shouldn’t stop at protecting your own personal financials. To help keep your family safe, credit and identity theft monitoring should extend to your entire family, and here’s why: people want to protect their loved ones, from infants to aging parents, but simply can’t be everywhere at once. And trusting financial service providers, such as banks, to keep your loved ones safe, simply isn’t enough security all of the time.

Recently, a Florida woman was told her granddaughter was in legal trouble by scammers. According to USA Today, she was scammed $700,000 in what is called a “grandparent scam.” Scammers convinced the 82-year old woman to make several, high-value withdrawals from her bank. Now the victim’s family is suing the bank for not doing more to protect their grandmother’s finances and allege negligence for letting the woman make large and unusual withdrawals even after red flags were raised.

While the woman’s personal details weren’t stolen, this serves as a stark reminder that criminals target our loved ones. When loved ones don’t live with us, it’s harder to monitor their financial activity. Getting a personal identity protection service can help keep the finances safer for all family members covered.

Stealing from grandparents is a big business. Last year, 28% of the $4.1 billion stolen from Americans through online scams came out of the pockets of seniors over the age of 60, according to a new report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. That amounts to about $1 billion scammed out of seniors last year, an increase of about $300 million for the same demographic the year before, the report said.

Children can also be particularly vulnerable to bad actors. A 2021 study produced by Javelin Strategy & Research showed more than 1.25 million children in the United States fell victim to identity theft and fraud in the past year, costing the average affected family more than $1,100. That same study found more than two-thirds of child victims were under 7 years old.

Here are some other steps you can take to help protect your loved ones’ credentials:

  • Protect your child’s social security number and birthdate information as you would your own.
  • Add coverage for themselves and additional family members, ranging from infants to adult children to elderly parents
  • Add elderly parents and children’s sensitive information, such as names and email addresses, to a dark web monitoring tool offered by credit protection services.

Identity-protection services have an important role to play in defending the whole family. Identity theft protection services such as credit monitoring; dark web and internet monitoring; family protection; credit reports and scores; identity theft insurance; secure browsing; device protection and online privacy.