Given the breakdown of joint family culture, more and more senior people live isolated from their relatives, and are now becoming a soft target for internet scammers. Aged people are limited when it comes to the demands of meeting modern day fraud protection techniques. However, one cannot afford to be oblivious to internet fraud and its prevention strategies, which have been discussed below.
- Internet Fraud targeting the aged
The elderly are easy to target, con and victimize. Internet scammers are coming up with beguiling means of confidence tricks to rip the aged off their hard earned life savings. Some of these scams include:
- Internet fraud relating to online investment schemes with lucrative returns
- Job opportunity scams inviting elderly people to invest their time and expertise to earn income from home
- Prescription scams that promise medication to the ailing, at discounted prices, but instead steal credit card details for identity fraud
- Sweepstakes and lottery scams originating from fake emails and requests to elderly people to share bank details for the deposit
- Internet fraud in the form of charity fraud, from fake charities who have no intention of philanthropy
To remain safe from the myriad internet fraud techniques, the aged people must educate themselves on the basics of internet security.
- Getting educated on internet basics and internet fraud protection
The aged cannot afford to take shelter under the fact that they cannot understand and fight against internet fraud. Many organizations are conducting many workshops that will educate them on the basics, in a lucid and jargon freeway, covering the following:
- Using email sensibly without giving in to phishing emails
- Understanding what is spam and using spam filters
- Using the online access to banking safely, including funds transfer
- Adhering to internet safety protocols while accessing webpages; developing the ability to discern genuine websites from fraudulent ones
- Understanding credit rating and charity rating from watch dog organizations
- Reporting internet fraud
The elderly are less likely to improve their knowledge over reporting mechanisms available. They need to be conversant with alerting their banks, credit card issuers and reporting online crime to law enforcers. They can approach the following organizations, from the comfort of their homes, and file online complaints:
- The Action Fraud, UK
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Federal Trade Commission, The Internet Crime Complaint Center
- Various online forums for voicing out their complaints and experiences, being up to date with notorious scams that affect people in the neighborhood.
- Internet fraud prevention when banking, shopping and donating
The above there avenues are largely used by scammers to take on the elderly, since all the three involve payment on virtual platform, either with credit cards, debit cards of net banking. A measure of caution against internet fraud would involve:
- Keeping PINs, passwords and account numbers in strictest confidence
- Act with prudence and diligence when transferring funds, even to known persons
- Ensure that online payments are processed by secured payment processor
- Safe keep e-receipts of online payments, donations and purchases.