This post came from another email suggestion. Jack Robertson, who’s a content specialist with ireviews.com, asked if I’d share an online article about protecting seniors from online scams. I took one look at their first image and said YES. I’m summarizing . . . according to the FBI, seniors lose an estimated $3billion because they fall prey to these scams.
Their article highlighted ten. It told you how they worked, and how to spot them. Here’s their link: How To Keep Elderly Loved Ones Safe From Online Scams (ireviews.com)
I picked three to write about. They struck me as the most common, and the most dangerous. Looking at them, might help you navigate the others.
Part 1 – Three Scams and How to Spot Them:
#1 – Social Security – Everyone should watch out for this one. Bad guys can be so clever. The most common – to call or email seniors to ask for their Social Security numbers. Sometimes those scammers make you think you have to respond. That you’ll miss out on money you’re owed.
Remember, Social Security will never call or email you. They’ll never ask for personal information. The scammers will want you to use their phone numbers, emails or web sites. DON’T. Type www.ssa.gov, and you’ll go straight to the real Social Security site.
#2 – Prescription Drugs – I didn’t know seniors take 1/3 of the prescriptions in the US, and that’s a hefty price tag for someone on a fixed income. The bad guys know how to catch their attention – with cheap prices. Then they try to steal credit card numbers and insurance information.
Remember no matter your age, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it’s misspelled or sounds fishy, skip on by. Don’t be tempted! Buy your prescriptions from a trusted pharmacy.
#3 – Free Vacations – Scammers will promise all-expense-paid trips to seniors, but they’re really looking for personal information/credit card numbers. Don’t give them out. If they push you to book a trip, hang up!
Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Another tip – don’t use the links they send. Google the company yourself. It may not even exist. If it’s real, check out their reviews before you make a decision. That’s good advice, anytime/anyplace.
Part 2 – Fourteen Ways to Prevent Scams: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of protection. I know – I spent the last ten years helping my parents age, then pass away. Each one of these tips helped me, help them. I decided the best way to share them is by doing a picture walk through the list. To read more, click on this link: How To Keep Elderly Loved Ones Safe From Online Scams (ireviews.com)
1. Talk to them regularly about technology.
2. Help them understand their risks.
3. Install antivirus software for them.
4. Teach them how to handle links in messages.
5. Monitor their email accounts (with permission, of course).
6. Keep an eye on their social media accounts.
7. Teach them about browser alerts.
8. Be careful with your passwords.
9. Keep phone numbers private.
10. Research before buying anything.
11. Consult/help them with big purchases.
12. Explain how official correspondence works.
13. Check in on their finances.
14. Check in on them regularly.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!