A computer can be a window to the world for homebound seniors. From shopping and socializing to streaming movies and TV shows, an elderly loved one’s computer can become an important part of their daily lives. They like the independence of doing their own thing, even if they are dependent on senior care aides, family members and more for their day-to-day needs. However, just as for younger generations, cybersecurity is an important component of being smart and staying safe online.
More seniors than ever are going online and technology is playing an increasing role in their lives. However, no computer is safe from cyber attacks, and elderly people are the most likely to be the victims of online scams and cyber crimes. Because many seniors haven’t been taught or trained on staying safe online at work or at school, they are less knowledgeable about cyber attacks and how to resist them. In order to keep their elderly loved one’s money and their identity safe from scammers, family caregivers should spend some time helping them become informed about the risks online.
Here are some of the most common cyber scams that seniors need to be aware of:
Online Pharmacy Scams
There’s no doubt that many seniors rely on prescription medication and medical equipment to help them manage the effects of aging. These fake pharmacies target seniors, often via email, who simply can’t resist the affordable prices, especially those living on a fixed income. They are directed to a website that seems to let them purchase cheap, brand-name medicine. While there are many reputable online pharmacies out there, the pharmacy scams are also quite numerous.
Seniors can get very lonely, even if they are living with a family caregiver. Going online gives elderly people a chance to connect with others for friendship and even romance. However, scammers frequently target lonely seniors and build up a relationship of trust over several weeks or months. They then manage to convince the elderly person to loan them money or help them out in some other way. Once the transfer is done, the seniors never hear from their new friend again.
One very effective scam that is taking in seniors is when criminals pose as government officials, often the IRS. They send scary emails to elderly people claiming that there is a problem with something, like their taxes. Seniors are directed to furnish important information like social security numbers, addresses, birthdays, and even bank information in order to avoid legal trouble or jail time. By the time seniors figure out that the demands are a hoax, the scammers are long gone.
Money Making Opportunities
Many seniors live on a fixed income or are looking for ways to fill their time. That’s why money making schemes or work from home jobs are so appealing. The scams appear legitimate and promise a steady income if the elderly people will just spend a little to get started. Of course, none of these are legitimate and the old saying is true: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Cyber attacks can cost seniors their money and their identity, so it’s very important for loving family members to spend time empowering and educating their elderly loved ones to stay safe in cyberspace.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME SENIOR CARE IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.