Scams are fraudulent activities that can lead to enormous loss of life savings and investment. Some scams victims have been left in a drastic situation, which could lead to health-related issues, most especially when the damage is much.
Anyone can be scammed, including seniors or elders. Besides, scam targeted at old citizens is known as “elder financial abuse” or the “elder financial exploitation.” Scammers often target seniors because they are unaware of such actions, and they cannot protect themselves.
Whether you are a senior or you are looking for how to protect a family member, neighbor, or friends, you will find this article helpful.
Common Types of Seniors Scams
Before we jump into providing you with the prevention tips you need to stay safe, here are the types of scams that are targeted towards seniors.
- Investment scheme scam: This type of fraud presents opportunities to invest and increase their savings; however, after the initial investment, the investment service may be inaccessible. As many seniors are living on fixed savings, they are quick to enter any investment with an excellent proposal.
- Health-related scams: For aged people, there is a need to stay in good health continually. Thus, they quickly fall into this scam. There have been several online stores posing as a licensed pharmacist. Basically, they target seniors who will buy any medication that they believe will make them healthy.
- Insurance scam: Sometimes, fraudsters promise their victims that they can set up life insurance that will protect their loved ones after they pass away. Seniors always want to give the best to their family, so they quickly give in to this. At the end of the day, before they could realize it’s a scam, they might have lost a considerable amount of money.
- Family disguise scam: This is another scam that is becoming rampant for the elderly. In this case, the scammer will call the seniors and pretend to be a family member, most notably as a grandchild. Posing as a relative, they request for money to solve an urgent issue. By falling for such tricks, they get scammed.
- Lottery scam: Lottery has changed over the years. Most seniors are vulnerable to the lottery scam because they don’t know how the current system works. In this case, the senior who is a victim is sent a message and told he/she had won an enormous amount of lottery money. But to claim this money, they are expected to pay a small token fee. If they co-operate by spending this money, it becomes a sad story.
7 Scam Prevention Tips for Seniors
The below tips can help keep seniors protected from falling victims to scammers:
1. Prevent sending personal information through email
Electronic mail is one of the common ways internet fraudsters use to reach out to their victims. Through emails, they lure their victims into giving out their private information, most notably their bank details. Sometimes, they might ask for it directly, or they use indirect means to acquire personal information.
As a family member, you should advise the seniors in your home about the danger of giving out such their private information on the internet.
2. Avoid freebies
Many people have become victims of online scams today because they fall into the lure of claiming freebies online. Elders who make use of the internet should be educated that freebies on the web do not come easy. Several freebies organizers have been revealed to be bogus and might be indirectly trying to collect a chunk of money in return. Take, for instance; some free VPN service providers are malware distributors.
3. Save family contacts
Every family member’s contacts should be saved by the seniors. So, when a stranger calls and claiming to be a family member, it will be easier to determine if it is genuine or fake. Also, family members are expected to call their aged seniors with a particular number to make it easier for them to identify who the callers are.
4. Never wire money to a stranger
No matter how urgent the other person on the phone or email may sound, seniors should not transfer money to an unknown person until their identity is verified. This goes to any online romance they might have with strangers. If possible, they should be careful to stay off having romantic relationships with strangers online.
5. Don’t give out your credit card details
Some scammers might pose as a bank worker and demand credit card details to help resolve issues on their accounts. Sometimes, they can demand that the photos of these cards be taken and sent to them. No matter how persistent, friendly, or helpful they might sound, do not give out your bank details or credit card information online or on the phone.
6. Please make use of a VPN
A virtual private network (VPN) should be installed on every device the seniors utilize. This will prevent their online activities or information from been tracked. Fortunately, a reputable VPN like RitaVPN ensures the online privacy of its users. Therefore, seniors can obfuscate their online business, making it impossible for social engineering tactics to catch up on them.
7. Continuously visit them
This last tip on our list goes to the young people in the family. Please do not neglect your seniors; instead, always visits them. If you are far away from them, you won’t be aware of when they fall victim or in the process of been scammed.
These are the scam prevention tips for seniors to prevent them from being victims. As a senior, you should implement them. For the younger ones, educate the seniors on these.
With a reliable VPN service provider such as RitaVPN, online anonymity is highly guaranteed without compromise. Besides that, RitaVPN can unblock websites such as Hulu, Netflix, Vevo, Spotify, and other streaming websites.