The increasing number of cyber-criminals targeting seniors is stupendous.
Intro to keep Your Retirement Secure from online scams
In 2021 the number of people who are over 60 have reported the loss amounting to $1.7 billion according to IC3 which is the department of the FBI’s Internet Crime division. The figure represents an increase of 74 percent in loss from 2020.
These numbers can tell us some things. They reveal that swindling the elderly is a billion-dollar industry for hackers. This also means that regardless of how inept or obvious the online scams seem to those outside of the elderly community the criminals are doing their job.
But, information is the key to power. Seniors can guard their hard-earned retirement savings and other government benefits by remaining updated, adopting new behavior and putting measures put in place to stop fraudsters from taking advantage of their opportunities. When feasible, family members, friends as well as caregivers can be of assistance.
The FBI reported that confidence frauds and romance scams have accumulated more than $ 281 million of losses.
The top four kinds of scams that target seniors: Romance scams (confidence scams) and fake online shopping sites, fake utility representatives, and even government agents who are fake. Here’s how to make small change in your thinking and your routine, and stay clear of the digital deceit.
5 Safeguards to Protect Your Retirement
- Stop. Don’t share. Most scams on the internet or phone targeted at seniors have distinct emotional triggers, such as elation (you have won) and anxiety (you have to pay) or sympathy (please aid). For example, a fraudulent source could suggest: “You must send admin fees immediately to access your sweepstake winnings.” or “You must provide your social security number to stop this agency penalty.” FBI and Better Business Bureau fraud experts recommend that seniors be aware and take a second thought before taking any actions. Beware of common fraudulent phishing scams, which include genuine-looking emails from a bank or federal agency or service provider that ask you to “verify” personal information. The first rule to follow is not to divulge any personal information , such as your Social Security number, bank account numbers, Medicare numbers, birthdate names, maiden names, employment history, or even your address.
- Level up your security. New times demand the use of new tools and methods online.Consider adopting best practices , such as installing McAfee’s security program as well as using strong passwords using 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) as well as being aware of malware and phishing scams. These are crucial elements in digital literacy. To learn more about security best practices for cybersecurity you can read the following article.
- Discuss new scams. Scammers swiftly adapt their strategies to the current situation, such as an outbreak, the tax time or economic downturn to entice seniors emotionally. If you’re an older adult, you should take a look at the weekly alerts for consumers from IC3 and AARP to keep abreast of any scams that you might encounter. If you’re a relative or caregiver for someone who is a senior, remain up-to-date, talk about scams with the person you love and look into other avenues to assist.
- Research all charities. Senior citizens are regularly contacted via phone calls and emails or Facebook messages that attempt to defraud them out of cash. It’s essential to do your research. Before you make a donation to an organization, check with Give.Org as well as Charity Navigator to verify the donation is genuine.
- Report all scams and scam attempts. If you’ve fallen victim of an online scam , or even failed to be targeted, make sure you report the scam immediately. Anyone can report online scams on the FBI’s IC3 website. Frauds involving debit or credit cards and bank fraud needs to be reported immediately at the bank you use.
AARP to be aware of of scams you could encounter. If you’re a relative or caregiver for an older adult, be up-to-date, talk about scams with the person you love and look for other methods to assist them. Research every charity. Seniors are constantly bombarded with calls from emails, phone calls, or Facebook messages attempting to defraud the recipients of their funds. It’s essential to do your research. Before making a donation to an organization, check Give.Org as well as Charity Navigator to verify the request is genuine. Be aware of all frauds, scams and swindle efforts. If you’ve been the victim of a scam on the internet or even a victim of a scam then report the situation immediately. Anyone can report online scams on the FBI’s IC3 website. Frauds involving debit or credit cards and bank fraud needs to be reported immediately by your financial institution.
As the seasons are changing in our life, so should our behavior when connected to other people and data through our devices. Cybercriminals target older adults as they think they’re not as well-informed about scams or technologically proficient as younger individuals. Seniors and their family members can constantly work to alter this perception. With the right attitude knowledge, tools, and information seniors can make connections online confidently and enjoy their golden years with no worries about cyber-scams.
Also read: Best Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy