Many elderly people are particularly vulnerable to digital scams because they were, perhaps, not brought up with the same technology we were and because they are often more trusting of people in general, as well as many of them suffering from some level of cognitive decline. That is why, if you have an elderly person in your life, you need to do all you can to help them avoid becoming a victim of scams. Below are just a few ways you can do that:
- Tell Them Not to Trust a Voice
There’s a new scam on the block and it’s called vishing. What is vishing? If this term sounds like a weird fish, well, it’s not far off. Vishing is like phishing, but over the phone. Scammers will call, sometimes pretending to be a bank or another official entity, to grab personal info. It might even sound like a family member, so you need to drum it into the elderly person in your life that just because it sounds like someone trusted, does not mean it is. Always remember: genuine organizations won’t ask for your full password or PIN over the phone.
- Delete Dubious Emails
Is there a random prince emailing about an inheritance? Delete! Any email that smells fishier than Uncle Bob’s three-day-old tuna sandwich probably is. If you don’t recognize the sender or the message seems off, toss it into the digital trash. You need to tell your senior to do just that or at least check with you first.
- Passwords are Private Parties
Let your senior know that no matter who is asking, they should keep their passwords private, especially over the phone where they cannot ascertain who is really calling. Let them know that no reputable company or bank will ask them for their passwords, so they should not be worried to say no. Of course, if they have a trusted family member they would like to help them with their accounts, it may be okay to give that one person their passwords, but other than that, they should refrain.
- The Suspicious Link Think
Before clicking on any links in emails, they should always hover over them first. If the address seems like a jumble of letters or doesn’t match the sender’s claimed identity, don’t click. It’s like a mystery box – you never know what you’re gonna get!
- Buddy Up on Big Purchases
Considering buying something big or making a major financial decision? Chat with a trusted friend or family member first. Two heads are often better than one, especially when dodging scams.
- Update the Tech Treasures
Keeping devices updated isn’t just about having the latest fancy features. Updates often patch security holes, making it tougher for scams and viruses to do their nasty work.
- Go Old-School: When in Doubt, Shout!
Not literally, of course. But if something feels off, encourage your senior to talk about it. Whether it’s with your grandkids, your neighbors, or even the cashier at your local grocery store – sometimes just chatting can help you sniff out a scam.
Scams are getting more and more sophisticated all the time, so be sure to do what you can to keep your senior family members safe!