Identity Theft Prevention Among The Elderly

4 months

Introduction



Identity theft is a very real problem and is a constant source of anxiety for seniors. The elderly form inconvenient habits around protecting themselves and meet strangers with a general sense of suspicion and distrust. They won't allow themselves to go even near the internet and adhere to the phone's caller ID with extreme diligence. But unbeknownst to most people, over 80% of the information used in these schemes stems from physical documents.

Methods of access


Building on a quick two-week primary, secondary research, we brainstormed 100 possible opportunities and successfully narrow them down to one after conducting rigorous team debates and utilizing shortlisting techniques, which shows as follows:



“Aid in the organization, tracking and/or securing of sensitive information typically carried on person.”



Our research show that Offline access to information of fraud victims constitutes 82% of the whole, and Lost/Stolen Wallets/Credit Cards/Checks make up 30% of the overall loss of information. Compounded with the aging trends of people people aging beyond 65 years of age and the relatively less usage of technology by the elderly, this opportunity gap has the highest potential of impact on the elderly society.The opportunity gap has a very high Social Synergy value and a potential for impacting multiple age groups even though we are currently concentrating on the elderly.

Research Process


Our primary research has shown that identity theft is a much larger problem beyond the numbers. It has a significant impact on how seniors live their life. They are afraid and developed a number of habits specifically to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. For example they never talk to people whose caller ID they do not recognize. Interviewed seniors also tended to not believe anyone claiming to be from a financial institution that calls them directly. They also diligently check their bank and credit card statements and don’t hesitate to call the bank if there is a suspicious item. Last but not least, we found that most of the interviewed and surveyed seniors are extremely anxious about using the internet and avoid it with the single reason that they are afraid of being defrauded. “I don’t trust the Internet.” was a quote that we have encountered more than just once and seemed to voice a collective sentiment.

These findings have led us to believe that we can generate the most value with a non-intrusive organizational and assistive system. By linking existing concepts and technologies in novel ways, our solution shouldn't demand seniors to learn anything new but integrates seamlessly into their lives in a natural way.


Focus groups, Interviews, Questionnaires



Group 1

  1. How likely for elderly to lose their important physical artifacts (eg. wallet)?
    a. How often might this happen to each person?
    b. Is it due to theft, or they have they lost or misplaced their items?
  2. Do elderly feel the need to protect their physical important items?
  3. Do they feel uncertain? What situations trigger this feeling? When, where, and how does this happen?
  4. Have they personally experienced identity theft?
  5. What are personal artifacts do they carry with them? How valuable is each of the item to them?
  6. What their plan of response if the loose their personal artifact?
  7. What are the measures of prevention of losing personal artifact?
  8. Competition analysis

Group 2

  1. Between securing personal artifacts and authenticating strangers that they interact with, which is more important to elderly? Which issue concerns them more?
  2. Is there a method seniors have to authenticate whether government or corporate employees are who they say they are?
  3. How often do they interact with strangers? How many make them vulnerable?


One disconcerting finding was that over 60% of the elderly always carry both their driver’s license and their Medicare card. This combination is particularly worrisome because the data on these items combined is enough for an identity thief to proceed with a myriad of financial frauds.


Product Opportunity Focus

With the information about different events on the timeline we came to the conclusion that the events that occur after the theft phase have their roots in the organization phase. The issue associated with the identification phase is the time that is wasted before the victim becomes aware that some personal belonging is actually missing. The issue associated with the response phase is the overall time and distress factor involved. By creating a system that provides a solution for the organization phase, we can make people more aware of their belongings and artifacts. If the elderly are provided with a stress-free way to focus their energies on organizing their most sensitive information and the ability to control how their information is shared a seamless way, they will be empowered and more confident when responding to any unfortunate situation.

Current Market Landscape

PKey Product Attributes

ID Aware Concept

With the information about different events on the timeline we came to the conclusion that the events that occur after the theft phase have their roots in the organization phase. The issue associated with the identification phase is the time that is wasted before the victim becomes aware that some personal belonging is actually missing. The issue associated with the response phase is the overall time and distress factor involved. By creating a system that provides a solution for the organization phase, we can make people more aware of their belongings and artifacts. If the elderly are provided with a stress-free way to focus their energies on organizing their most sensitive information and the ability to control how their information is shared a seamless way, they will be empowered and more confident when responding to any unfortunate situation.

Cultural Probe Activity

Insert for wallet

Wearable design

Base Station

Service Flow

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Mo Zhang
Phone: +86 134-2966-1756
Email: mo.zhang.43@gmail.com
Skype: mo.zhang.43