It makes sense to say that the internet has become a part of our daily lives. After all, it is where most of our personal and professional connections happen from our social dealings to our financial transactions.
And while most of us have quickly adapted to this technological change, one sector of the community that is often challenged with the use of the World Wide Web are the elders – which often results in issues that will make them victims of financial exploitation through online scams.
So why are older adults usual victims of internet scams? And what strategies can you employ to prevent your parent from becoming a victim of elder fraud? Read more as we are going to talk about this topic in today’s blog post.
Internet Scam Defined
In simple terms, an internet scam is a type of fraud that is committed online. It is done by people who are usually far away from their victims to “steal” personal information that would enable them to gain access to the victim’s bank accounts. In some cases, the scammer persuades the victim to ‘give away’ with the promise of higher gains.
Internet scams come in many forms. And the bitter reality of this is most online scams today are designed to target seniors as they can be easily exploited through this manner of technological scheme.
Reason Why Elders Become Frequent Victims Of Online Fraud
- Most senior adults are not technologically savvy – Given the fact that the internet was not commonly used during their young age, older adults would understandably have difficulties with how the internet works despite how it has become an integral part in all of our lives today.
- They are overwhelmed by the complex nature of some online elements – Sure they may be able to post a message through their social media accounts or do basic online shopping and banking, but most seniors are not familiar with things like internet security, online investments, and the likes.
- They are seeking to find romance online – Also known as Romance scams, older women who have recently widowed or divorced would sometimes want to forge an intimate connection and find another partner in life online. And in doing so, they’ve unknowingly become victims of scammers who posed as an eligible bachelor but is actually out to get their money.
- They have the habit of buying or selling things online – Older adults who often engage in online buying and selling are vulnerable to scammers who send bogus checks as a prize for a fake foreign lottery. These checks worth more than what is expected, and the victim is required to send money to pay for the taxes to get the check – only to realize that they’ve already been scammed after their money is sent. This is also known as counterfeit check scams.
- They fail to recognize that they are already dealing with a scammer – Due to their inherent kindness, senior adults tend to look beyond the true intentions of people who are either selling or persuading then to invest on something. In short, they fail to recognize the ‘red flags’ or the predatory nature of the scam just because they are already baited with false sympathies and the idea that they are going to make more money.
How To Avert The Possibility Of Turning Your Parent Into A Victim Of Online Scams?
- Set a firm policy with your parents to not give any personal information to over the internet, especially on people or organizations that they don’t know. If in case this online letter is allegedly from the bank, then tell your parents to call to do a confirmation first with your assistance.
- Warn your parents to not get into any online transactions with people online no matter how kind or legitimate they may appear to be. Instead, tell them to consult the matter with you (and your siblings) first before making any financial commitments.
- Advice your mom not to quickly dive into any online romance where money is usually involved.
- Teach your parents to be mindful of any pop up massages or limited time offers that would appear on the screen and tell them to close it immediately to prevent their PC from being attacked by security threats.
- Be knowledgeable about the types of internet scams affecting seniors and at least make some effort to help your parents manage their finances. Moreover, consider hiring a senior financial management advisor to ensure your elder’s money is secured from online fraud.
Managing your senior family members’ finances can be difficult at times. If you need professional help, SilverBills’ senior bills payment services can help you with this task. Get in touch with them today.