Online fraud is increasing at an alarming rate. This can be attributed to more services being carried out online, hence its current name, the Internet of Things. From online e-currency to phishing, the number of ways one can prey upon online is increasing exponentially. Subsequently, older adults are individuals who run the risk of losing their possessions, their freedom, and their trust.
You or an elderly loved one must never forget that you are not alone. It’s crucial to seek professional guidance before and after becoming a scam victim.
The Protect Seniors from Fraud public education initiative was created by the Home Instead® network and North American security specialists to assist and protect senior citizens from increasingly sophisticated scams. Learn about scams that prey on older adults, how to have difficult talks with aging parents about security, and what to do if you or a loved one has been the victim of one.
Avoid Sharing Too Much Information Online
Social media and similar platforms encourage us to share as much personal information as possible. This might make the user experience more personalized, but the information gets passed on to third parties. Individuals or firms could buy this information under the pretext of creating personalized ads and use them for online fraud and character impersonation. The easy way to avoid this is not to share too much information on social media. Do not allow your social media to track your location or know your whereabouts since third parties can access this with bad intentions. Your social media description should contain minimal information about yourself so that you can still use it to get in touch with family and friends, but without giving too much information. An opposing party can use the latter to gain confidence in you and end up scamming you.
Think Before Acting on Unsolicited Online Communication
Many elderly individuals fall for the scam of quickly replying to communication that seems that it is from official sources even when it is not solicited. This could include emails from firms purporting to be your bank. Before responding to them, find out if they are legitimate. For instance, if you get an email from your bank asking you to change your pin or provide sensitive information such as your credit card or social security details, first call the bank using their official number, share the email with them and verify that this is the case before providing such sensitive information.
An email requesting money that conveys a feeling of urgency is probably a hoax. Scammers may access your personal information by asking you to open links in their emails. It’s better to immediately delete an email that seems suspicious or get in touch with the sender personally to find out if the email is authentic.
Beef Up Local Security
On at least one gadget, 50% of older adults don’t use a password, making it accessible to anybody who may pick it up. A security line may be added by locking all devices—computers, tablets, and mobile phones—with a solid and secure password. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols while excluding information that may be obvious, such as your name or birth date.