Today, it is common for seniors to use the internet to check email, read the news, chat with friends, and so much more! Spending more time online puts a loved one at risk for scams or hacks, including tax fraud. Oaks Senior Living understands the importance of staying current with trending scams and we’d like to share some of these with residents and guests to prevent any fraud!
The Internet may be a dangerous place for unsuspecting users; therefore, internet safety tips for seniors can be exceptionally beneficial. While there is no way to stop scammers from coming up with new ways to prey on internet users, there are several things to consider that will promote cyber safety for seniors.
With a plethora of scams floating across the internet, extortion spread through email rank most common. All sorts of awful online scams circulate via email. For example, “Phishing” is when online scammers pretend to be a legitimate company, luring an individual to a fake website with a deal that seems too good to be true. The email may lead to a website that is also fake, but exceptionally imitates the company’s branding. The goal is for the online scammers to withdraw bank account information, passwords, personal data, credit card information, and other secure information.
Email is an efficient tool for online scammers as they can send millions of spam emails simultaneously. The fact that they can use online software to cover up any tracks leading back to them can make it nearly impossible to prosecute them. Advise loved ones to be naturally suspicious of unsolicited emails and ensure they avoid unveiling private information online unless it is to a verified trusted organization. If your loved one has questions about whether an advertisement they received is legitimate, help them get in touch with that institution directly.
Software Security Scams
Software security scammers send pop-up warnings to internet devices stating that security has been breached or compromised. Online scammers will then recommend the installation of a specific program or piece of software. Installing anything from these pop-ups will download a virus onto a computer.
Visiting infected websites can trigger pop-up boxes that state your loved one’s computer is infected. They’re instructed to call a tech support agent who will then take control of their computer, and offer to clean it for them. The fake agent pretends to find viruses on their computer and manipulates people to spend hundreds of dollars on free security software.
Luckily, these types of online scams are fairly easy to avoid. Tell a loved one to avoid clicking on pop-up boxes, especially ones telling them that their computer is infected with viruses. If they accidentally come across a suspicious pop-up box, have them exit the window immediately and ignore it, but be sure to run a virus scan afterward. Find a safe but strong antivirus security software and keep it up to date so your loved one’s computer isn’t at risk.
Believe it or not, fake lottery scams are still a threat to this day. Your loved one will receive an email that tells them they’ve won a substantial amount of money; an amount that doesn’t sound too good to be true. There’s always a catch, though. In this case, all they have to do is provide their bank account or credit card details so they can pay a small processing fee to transfer the newly won money to their account. Instead, the online scammers access their accounts and withdraw funds instead of adding them.
Remember, your loved one can’t win a lottery they haven’t entered. Let your loved one know that they should ignore these online scams emails and never send sensitive information including bank account information to a stranger.
Take some time to help your loved one understand popular online scam tactics and explain how to avoid them. Oaks Senior Living understands that knowing what to expect is the best way to protect your loved ones online!