Staying safe online for seniors


Staying safe online for seniors

Today, more elderly people are online than before. The Internet is the right way to connect with loved ones, find the required information, or perform shopping with a few clicks. But, internet browsing is associated with some dangers.
So, it is essential to be cautious to stay safe online and keep your personal data secure. According to the Age UK survey, 53% of elderly people believe that they have been scammed by scammers.

What are online scams?

An online scam is a fraudulent scheme to trick people into giving their personal information or money for nothing. Scammers pretend to be legit online sellers using a fake website or online scam ad. Cybercriminals deceive people for personal gains, identity theft, or monetary theft.
They use various deceiving methods such as fake websites, phishing emails, and malicious software to get access to the personal data of the victim. Scammers can steal credit card information or social security numbers, and access their medical records or bank details.

Email Scams

Email scam is a common trick used by scammers where they send fake emails making victims believe that they are from a bank or other authorised organisation that you trust. The email may contain a fake link or ask you to visit a fake website and provide your account details.
The site appears the same as the original but in reality, it is a fake website created by con artists to steal your information. Email scams are the most common that fraudsters use to target elderly people.

Fake websites

Fake websites are illegal internet sites that are used to trick people into fraud. These websites look like original ones and trick people into providing bank details and personal information. For example, a fake shopping website uses a fake online store to gather the credit card information of the victim.
Scammers may trick seniors with a fake bank website to gather their security and account information. Fake bank websites look quite similar to real ones with only a few differences that may be hard to identify for seniors.

Computer Viruses

A computer virus is malicious software that is created to damage a device, financially abuse innocent users, or steal personal information. Some of the common computer viruses are spyware, ransomware, and Trojans. Installing a strong antivirus on your computer is the best way to avoid computer viruses.

Relationship Scams

For elderly people, social media platforms and online dating websites are popular ways to find new friends and partners. Although it is a great way to meet new people, scammers use it to find potential victims. Con artists do this to get your personal information and money or impose emotional or physical harm. Seniors are an easy target for tricksters to fool.

Health Scams

All online websites and online sellers are not trustworthy. Scammers may make fake and deceptive claims regarding health products and medicines like miracle health cures. They may offer fake medicines at lower prices. Scammers may offer original medicine online but deliver the worst quality medicines. Seniors need to talk to others before buying medicines online.
What should I do if I become a victim of an online scam?
Online scams are crimes and must be reported. Scammers always find new ways to trap people and more individuals are becoming victims of online scams than before. It is common for people to become a victim of a scam so it is important to report it to Action Fraud.

If you think something is wrong with your online security or you have been scammed, contact Action Fraud.

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