Seniors are often targeted by scammers and fraudsters due to their free time and lack of knowledge about online security. To protect seniors from online scams and frauds, it is important to educate them on the risks and provide them with the tools to stay safe. One of the most important tips for preventing a scam is to not act quickly. Scammers rely on fear and urgency to get people to act without thinking.
It is also important to be aware of fake caller IDs, as scammers can use these to appear as if they are calling from a legitimate source. If you or a loved one receives a call from an unknown number, it is best to ask a friend or family member for advice before taking any action. Explaining specific scams can also help reduce the chances of someone falling victim to them. For example, if someone contacts you through social media claiming to be a friend and then asks for money, it is likely a scam.
Similarly, if you receive a text message claiming to be from a grandchild who needs immediate help, it is best to verify the information before responding. If you or a loved one has been the victim of fraud, it is important to contact your bank immediately and report any suspicious transactions. It is also recommended to call the National Elderly Fraud Helpline (1-833-FRAUD-1) to report the crime. Additionally, it is beneficial for seniors to check their online accounts regularly for suspicious activity rather than waiting for a monthly statement to arrive. To get started with online security, family members can help seniors set up Internet access with strong passwords for all their financial accounts.
Unfortunately, older people may be less likely to report irregularities committed by their family members or caregivers due to their dependence on them for care. Overall, it is important for seniors to be aware of the risks associated with online scams and frauds. By educating them on the dangers and providing them with the tools they need to stay safe, they can protect themselves from becoming victims.