As more seniors adopt modern technology and smart devices in their everyday lives, it puts the less tech-savvy of them at risk of things like fraud and online scams. Seniors are often the target of this kind of activity since it’s assumed that they’ll be more susceptible to it. If you think a senior loved one may be at risk of online fraud and scams, read on for some tips and things to make them aware of that could help them protect themselves from this.
Understand how official bodies work
Take a look at official statements and policies from any official body that you may have to deal with in your day-to-day life, such as banks or the IRS. They will provide information about how they communicate with their customers and carry out business with them. They may say that they don’t carry out business over the phone or they will never email you a link to click on. Informing yourself of these practices will make it easier to spot anything suspicious claiming to be from them.
Learn to be cynical online
Being trusting can be a very positive trait, but it can also get you into trouble online. Seniors who aren’t tech savvy are much more likely to believe what they read online. Learn to question everything online, especially if it involves parting with money or personal information. It’s extremely easy for someone online to not be who they claim to be.
Avoid clicking links in texts and emails
Clicking a link that you receive via text or email can be risky and could compromise your safety, especially if the page that follows asks for your personal information. If you receive a link from an organization saying that you need to urgently do something via the following link, contact them directly through the details on your website instead to confirm whether the request is genuine or not. Similarly, if similar activity happens over the phone, hang up and call them back on the number displayed on their website to verify the conversation.
Be aware of common scams
If you’re aware of how scammers operate, it becomes easier to spot potential red flags and get yourself out of the situation. A common one is sending a text claiming to be a family member – often a teenaged or young adult relative. The text claims that they are in trouble and need money, but please don’t tell mom and dad, and I’m texting from a different number because I lost my phone.
While their instinct will likely be to go into protective mode, be aware that this is almost certainly a scam. Ignore the text or hang up the phone if the person called you, and call another family member to verify the situation.
Technology can help older adults remain independent in their senior years, so we hope that these tips will help them utilize technology while remaining safe. At Brookstone Clemmons, we help seniors stay as independent as possible even through difficult diagnoses, with independent living and assisted living in Clemmons NC. Get in touch to find out more.