Tips on How to Guard Fraud Against Seniors and Cyber Scams
With the Internet at our fingertips and everybody having a smart phone or tablet there is an unfortunate increased risk for scams. These scams leave people with monetary loss, identity theft and credit card fraud. The holidays are the most vulnerable time of year. Unfortunately many scammers target senior citizens. Here are some ways that you can prevent cyber scams.
Be alert and aware
Anyone in any part of the world could be behind an email or other communication that is sent to you. Do not trust the sender on face value. Do a bit of research. You should never share your personal information such as your name, address and phone number, email and especially your Social Security number, bank accounts and insurance policy numbers. Scammers are very skilled at finding out information and possibly stealing your identity with just a little bit of personal info.
Be wary of entering drawings, contest or clubs online
Many cyber crimes begin with offers of gift cards, cash prizes or other things of value. You should never enter or respond to any type of request unless you are 100% sure of the origin. Most emails that are offering you prizes or money are really designed to get your personal information. This information is then used to steal your identity, create credit cards or hack into your bank account.
Holiday Shopping and Banking Online
Check to be sure your banking and online shopping sites are secure. The best way to do this is by looking for “https://” at the beginning of the URL or the padlock symbol. Also type in the website you need to go to directly into the address bar rather than following links. If you shop online be sure to check your credit card and bank statements regularly for these purchases and to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.
Keep your passwords private and be sure to change them every six months. This is an easy and simple way to prevent problems.
Be wary of “important” emails asking to wire money
Scammers send thousands of emails to people all over the world trying to get cash. Never wire money to someone you do not know or have not spoken to. There are even scams out there using the names of your children and grandchildren that say they are in dire need of money. If you ever get an email from somebody that you know asking for money call them directly before sending anything.
Having the Internet and smart devices at her fingertips makes our lives easier every day. There are many useful things for seniors on their smartphones and tablets. However, you need to make sure you are safe. Follow these cyber safety tips and be alert to any questionable emails or charges to prevent fraud against seniors.