Protecting Elders From Cybercrime

August 3, 2021

Believe it or not, our older generation is not the most victimized age group by scammers. That title belongs to the younger generation ages 20-29, according to recent studies. Although reported fraud may have been less for the older generation, the overall monetary loss from scams is typically much higher. Help these individuals like they’ve helped you by sharing cybersecurity tips and scams to watch out for.

Romance Scams – Many seniors turn to dating sites or apps to find companionship. Although many legitimate connections can be found, there are possibilities of catfishing with the attempts to defraud money or sensitive information from your older loved ones.

Tip! If your older relative is looking for a connection, help guide them on safe platforms to use and how to avoid falling for a catfish.

Phone Scams – Typically, the most common way seniors are targeted is through phone scams. Common tricks include technology support scams, fake trips or lottery scams, or pretending to be a grandchild or loved one in need of money for an emergency.

Tip! – Tell them to watch for threats, impersonations, and offers that seem too good to be true on any call they didn’t originate.

Online Shopping – Purchasing goods or services online can be a risk for anyone, especially those with less experience and knowledge about the dangers of online shopping.

Tip! – Inform your elders about risky websites and how to identify sites that are not secure.

Poor Password Controls – Seniors may not have as many accounts as we do, but most have at least one. Without strong password controls, any information within the account is vulnerable to exposure.

Tip! – Teach them about creating strong passwords and not to re-use those passwords on other accounts. Consider purchasing them a password manager tool where they only need to remember one master password.

Charity Scams – Scammers often pose as reps from charities asking for donations. Watch for unusual payment requests such as wire transfers, cash, cryptocurrency, or gift cards.

Tip! – If they wish to donate, use reputable charities and consider donating directly on the charity’s web page.

Yes, it may be hard to stop these scams and educate our loved ones at a late age, but there is help nearby. Alpine Communications offers Tech Home, a fully-automated and managed anti-malware solution with a password manager, and online backup.   For safeguarding against phone scammers, we recommend Caller ID, Voicemail, Telemarketer Call Screening, and registering your home phone and cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Also, when in doubt, contact Alpine at 563-245-4000 and ask one of our representatives for information.

Source: PII Protect August 2021 Security Newsletter

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