Computers and internet online devices make it easier than ever for elderly people to stay connected with friends and family. They are even enjoying activities like shopping, watching movies and reading the news while online. However, there are a lot of scams out there that criminals are launching to take advantage of seniors. Elderly people are much more likely to lose money or private information to an online scam than other age groups.
Scammers have come up with some clever ways to trick people into handing over important and private information. Most of the younger generations have been exposed to frauds and scams via the internet, but elderly people have not always been as educated. Family caregivers need to include aging loved ones in the household cybersecurity measures. This includes talking about scams and what to watch for as part of their elderly care.
Here are 5 online scams that target elderly people:
Government Impersonation Scams
When seniors get emails that claim to be from a government agency they become fearful that they’ve done something wrong. The emails usually claim that the person owes some taxes or needs to pay some kind of fee immediately to stay out of trouble. Seniors need to know that most government agencies won’t resort to shakedown tactics if something is truly amiss.
This is an attempt by criminals to extract sensitive information from people via legitimate-looking emails. Usually, the emails promise free gifts or money, incredible deals, claiming a prize they won and deeply discounted popular products. Often the emails will direct seniors to a website where they are asked to include some personal information to access the good stuff.
Online Pharmacy Scams
This is a highly targeted phishing scam directly aimed at seniors, because of their frequent use of prescription medication and issues with how expensive these medications really are. Usually, the fake pharmacy emails say that seniors can even get the brand name medicine without a prescription due to some legal loophole or overseas connection.
When seniors are lonely, they can find relationships online, whether romance or friendship. However, some people may not be what they appear. Scammers prey on lonely and trusting elderly people and build an online relationship with them. Then they come up with believable ways to get the seniors to send them money or provide them with financial information. Seniors fall for this because they “trust” the person they think they are communicating with.
When tragedies happen, people like to reach into their wallets to help out. However, scammers take advantage of this goodwill and solicit money in the guise of a charity foundation. Because seniors are often unfamiliar with how to vet charity groups and verify whether they are legitimate, they often fall prey to such scams.
It doesn’t take much to entice a naïve elderly person to provide private or financial information if they are not informed of the types of online scams out there. Family caregivers will be doing their elderly loved one a real service by talking about online scams and teaching them how to recognize and then avoid them.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a caregiver in Geneva, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.