Thanks to a 62% increase in the use of the internet with senior citizens included, the cybercrime rate has also increased multifold times. The younger generation is relatively more at home in terms of cybersecurity to protect themselves from such scams but the old age retired senior citizens are unable to counter the tricks and techniques employed by the cyber hackers. Resultantly, they are prime targets of such malicious acts. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the scams and the countermeasures to avoid them and maintain online safety for senior citizens.
- Bankings Scams/Tax Scams:
In this type of scams, normally hackers send email pretending to be representatives of a known bank or other financial institution. In the email, the hackers ask the naive senior citizens to provide their personal sensitive details such as bank account number, credit card, or ATM details. The said detail is sought after to carry out certain routinely banking activities including confirmation of bank accounts or certain banking transactions.
- IRS Phone Scam:
Another one of the most common methods among such scams is IRS Phone Scam. In this technique, cybercriminals, having targeted their victims including senior citizens make phone calls. They warn the would-be victims that they owe a certain amount to the government failing which they might face jail time. In the end, the force the victims to pay that certain amount to avoid jail term and bad name in the society. One of the identifications of such fraudster scams is that they force their victims to pay the demanded amount via wire transfer, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards.
So it is highly suggested to never reveal your personal identifying details/information to anyone who is suspicious in any way regardless of the way they made their way to reach you. Mind it well that IRS is not going to contact you that way. The best way to avoid such scams is to make a direct call to IRS and they will confirm if there is any amount that you owe to the government.
- Security Software Scams:
In this type of scam, a pop-up message appears on your device. The message alerts you that the privacy or security setting of your computer/laptop has been compromised/risked. So you are prompted to install particular software to secure your privacy and protect your computer. In order to convince you, they may offer certain free offers such as cleaning up your device free of cost. The naive old aged senior citizens install such malicious software that is actually a virus. The virus provides all the sensitive information of victims’ devices to cybercriminals, who later use the info to carry out cybercrimes.
The young generation is more into Information Technology and as such can protect themselves against such scams. The senior citizens, on the other hand, are not that much adapt into cyber literacy, so they fall easy prey to such scammers. So, senior citizens should be provided with adequate cyber literacy to avoid such scammers and protect themselves before they are harmed. The governments in this regard should come up with clear programs for senior citizens to protect their hard-earned savings.