Members of the elder population are very vulnerable to cyber scams.
The American Journal of public health estimates that 5% of the elder population are affected by scams. And the Federal Trade Commission reports that the median amount lost due to Elder Scams for someone over 80 years of age is $1,000. For those between the ages of 70 and 79, it is $600.
Far too many are falling victim to these scams and is not their fault.
Here are 5 things you can do to protect yourself or a loved one.
1. Install anti-virus and anti-malware protection on all devices.
2. Make sure you have the latest version of your operating system installed.
3. Back-up your files frequently.
4. Don’t click on links or open attachments from unknown addresses. And, make sure your older family members know not to do this.
5. If you are the adult child of an aging parent, talk with them about the dangers to watch out for and monitor their computer usage.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: Have a conversation with your loved ones regarding scams. Let them know the dangers and come up with a protocol on what they should do if they receive something strange.
In most cases, you will simply want to tell them that if they’re not sure then they should call you.
If you have fallen victim make sure to: check with your antivirus provider; consult an IT security specialist; change passwords; and report the scam to the FBI.
I shared more information on elder scams, and discussed how care managers and social workers may be able to help you in a recent edition of the Manchester Living Podcast.
And, remember, if you have questions or want to discuss this further, don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me.