It’s 2019 and the innovation of the internet has become a major boost for everyone to find a source of income. Just like a coin has two faces, the internet is used by many individuals as a cause of destruction, fraudulent activities and even scamming people. There are many ways kids, teens, and even elderly people are being harmed and also being targeted as a part of cybercrime. Elders need to keep their money safe and also not fall for the prey of others. The point of the scam is basically to get the money and there are different ways by which one can fall in the prey of scammers. So if you wish to be safe and protected from such, here is a complete E-safety Guide for Elders that you can follow for better results.
What Is Elder Fraud?
The term elder fraud relates to a specific type of fraud that targets the seniors. However, it can be anyone from close to far and from one of the family members to a friend or even a stranger. However, if it is the case of a stranger, the most type of contact comes only through online or over the phone. Any elder person must be knowledgeable about this type of fraudulent services and beware of them. With new and innovative ways, elder fraud has become one of the main reasons for concerns which every elder citizen must take care of and beware about it.
Elder fraud can happen in many ways and one of the most common ways is through the help of emails. These general phishing techniques are mostly used against several email addresses with the help of contents and other links aimed for the seniors. There are many types of contents which attract you to phishing contents mostly from medical or health issues. There are many emails that you can get including discounts and health coverage. You may also receive emails on home equity or retirement savings or emails for friendship.
Apart from such schemes, most of the people are more targeted and may receive emails or phone calls from other schemes as well. Such targeted attacks are used to collect leads or information in general phishing attacks. Once you open such links and enter your details, it gets easily recorded and can also be manipulated. So anyone needs to beware of such phishing scams. Elder fraud can result in devastating losses for most of the victims. According to the recent studies and researches, the average loss of an elder due to cyber crime is around $34000.
Most of the elders spend their entire career working day and night so that they can enjoy their after retirement life with the help of just a small amount of savings. These savings add up to a hefty amount for the elder people to serve their necessities. Since it is present in a bulk with the bank; it becomes always the right target for the scammers to create phishing opportunities with the help of Ponzi schemes. According to studies, almost 1 out of every 10 seniors in the US is suffering because of such Ponzi schemes created online. But this, it’s not the only reason why elders get targeted so easily. Here are a few other reasons for such.
1. Common Problems
It is always a soft target to attack people about the problems that one knows. It is always easier to phish information from the elderly people if anyone knows their problems and this is the reason why is easier to target the senior. Most of the seniors tend to share their common problems like medication costs, proper health care coverage and also financial security concerns. This makes it a proper sense to craft the phishing emails on a small number of topics. This also happens to be a soft target which attracts a large percentage of recipients will be interested in. Thus, it is very important to stay away from such Ponzi schemes.
After a certain age, almost everyone requires a helping hand, a friend and also a companion with whom we can share our problems and find out a solution for it. Only a few elders are lucky to have a person beside them. According to the recent studies, most of the elders have been a victim of fraud because of online friends, family members or career about what is happening and what is their financial problems are and why are they looking for a solution. The problem is that most of the elders feel isolated and this is the reason why they do not have any things to run by. Thus, making friends with a stranger and trusting issues always comes forward.
Trusting comes to be one of the most important things to secure a better phase for any elderly people. Most people think about where to keep their savings which will give them better and ideal results. Most of the people over 30 today do not understand the importance of good internet usage and falling for the traps. So ideally they get attracted to offering emails and getting targeted by a lot of people unwillingly. It is very important that you choose your friends wisely and only disclose the financial necessities only to those whom you trust the most. It becomes really difficult for everyone to understand which email is good and which one is not worth a try.
4. Decision Making
Almost every senior is unaware of the advances of the internet and even if any new type of phishing or Ponzi scheme is launched, it becomes difficult for you to make a proper decision while you are willing to secure your financial decisions. This makes it even more difficult for the seniors to understand what a healthy email is and what it is not a good choice. We may often receive emails which offer a high amount of money to make our future secure. But its not always a good scheme to choose for. There may be a genuine email for you and there may be some Ponzi schemes as well. So it is very important to choose a proper decision making.
Common Types of Online Elder Fraud
It is surprising and also sad about the number of elder fraud happening these days. Infact, it is more shocking to understand that the number of fraudulent activities from a family member is vividly increasing. In terms of cybercrime, it becomes much more effective. However, a recent report and study have concluded that there is almost 36 percent of the cases comes in which the victim knew who was trying to phish their money and who are involved in the fraudulent cases. However, it is also seen than there are over half the cases which are constructed by the teenagers. Most of the schemes are carried out through emails or social media and other communication methods. Here are some of the Common Types of Online Elder Fraud:
1. Investment Schemes
Most of the scammers may find the resources of investment schemes to be the most preferable type of opportunity to scam people. This is because it helps the scammers to target the people in two different ways. This first one is to target the needy people who are planning to secure theirs after retirement life with a fixed income. This is an easy target for the scammers because people with inadequate income look for opportunities to increase their wealth. The other type of attack is towards the people who have a sizable amount of money and willing to secure them.
They may have a lot of cash and equity to get in forward with investments. Most of the fraudulent services seek to milk money out of the people with the promise of some Ponzi schemes. The most terrifying part is that they offer only short term investments making sure that every elderly person falls for their prey.
2. Insurance Scams
Another popular scam type which allows the scammer to shell money out of the victim is with the help of an insurance policy. In such types of scams, there is no promise of victim pulling money out of the policy even if they have promised you earlier. Instead, the scammers make sure that you invest in such schemes and make out a policy. This will help them to take out money from you and never give you anything in return. In some of the cases, the insurance agent is licensed but they may still try to comment on fraudulent activities towards the elders. In most of the cases, health insurance is the most common type of process to scam out the people.
3. Grandparent Scams
This might sound to be shocking, but at the same time, it is very important to understand that scammers may even take up different steps to shell money out of grandparents. In this type of scheme, any scammer may pretend to be the grandchild in is in an emergency need to money. You may receive online messages from a fake profile of your grandchild which you may believe that it is really them or even receive calls. The scammer typically asks for money to be quickly sent to their account or them from an emergency. While it may sound a bit strange, but the scammer could be anyone who knows both about you or your grandchildren!
4. Lottery Scams
Lottery scams are probably one of the most addictive scam types from which almost no one is safe. You may often receive emails and even messages congratulating you for winning a hefty amount of money. Most of us feel lucky to win such an amount and start going on with the procedure. There comes the scam when they ask you to pay just a nominal amount of money that needs to be paid to claim the prize. The money to which you pay goes out to be a non-existing office or an account. In fact, you will not be even to know because of the payment gateway they use claiming as intentional clearance and transfer fees. It is extremely unlikely that a lot of real lottery organization who try to connect the user for winning the lottery.
5. Health Scams
These types of scams are more aimed at the elder people because they tend to consume more medical needs than any young teenagers. This type of scam is gracefully designed which makes sure that any person will fall in the prey. In this type of scam, the scammer creates a website and invites you to get your medicines at a much cheaper and faster delivery than the genuine stores. These websites are so gracefully designed that you will not even think that you are being scammed. In general, these websites may not even as you for a prescription. In general, these drugs do not arrive when it is paid for and are out of date. So eventually you end up paying a hefty amount to the wrong website causing you to get scammed. So always get to know rest about what is right and which website is offering such options.
6. Identity Theft
The identity theft may sound to be the very typical type of scam which will allow the scammers to get anything with your identity. The idea is simple to theft your ID so that the scammers can use your identity to generate loans, credit cards and even opens bank accounts. It is by far one of the most dangerous types of scams that you can be active in without even being notified. Stealing an identity simple means to be someone else which also means that your identity is under a threat. Most of the scammers do opt to steal an identity for some people who have higher savings, better credit scores or even with more net worth. This gives them the assurance to clear out loans easily and get immediate result.
7. Tax Schemes
A lot of people do not know that Tax scam has become one of the most productive measurements of scamming both senior citizens as well as native elders. Here, the scammer pretends to be from the Income Tax department and shows you that you have failed in tax or there are some dues still left that you need to show up in case of any emergencies. The scammer presents the situations so well that it will indulge you to pay the dues or you need to immediately pay it. Being aware of such scammers will surely help you to get rid of these situations and get a better response. For an elder person, it is always important to consult with their Tax assistant whenever you receive such type of calls.
8. Reverse Mortgage Systems
Reverse Mortgage Systems are a type of loan for which the people can a big amount of loan keeping the property or an asset as a mortgage. Now, this does not mean that every reverse mortgage is a scam. There are genuine banks which offer such loans to their users. But there are also some private ventures which offer loans at a faster rate. Scammers take this opportunity to track people who are willing to get the reverse mortgage loans. With the help of this information, they set up loan opportunities for you mostly by emails or through the phone calls which will help you to easily fetch the loan. You may have to pay the processing fees but it is very important to stay away from such scams.
How to Recognize If Elder Fraud Is Happening?
Sometimes, it may just be difficult for you to understand when a scam has happened to you, your friend or any other people just around you. Elder scams are growing rapidly every day and it has become one of the biggest reasons to worry about. A sudden empty bank is very evident that you can even be a victim of fraud services against you. You may only be able to prevent any type of bankruptcy only if you spot the fraud activities all around you. This is the reason why it is very important to spot If Elder Fraud Is Happening all around you. You can have a look at this guide which will allow you to get the better results.
How To Spot Elder Fraud Happening To Someone Else?
- The easiest way to spot elder fraud in someone else is to make a note of the habit and the indications. This can indicate a heavy loss of money. People who know are being scammed are sometimes embarrassed to admit it and bring in relative changes to their behavior. It is thus very important to understand that the changes could lead to being a victim to the stages.
- If you see the changes in behavior, the next thing that you must do is to suspect the documents. Try to get access to the emails and then try to look for the documents. Look for the different papers like banking documents, unpaid bills and even returned check which may lead to a different type of scams going on. So you can get much more aware of it.
- Look for the complaints and the victim about the missing money. Someone who has just been scammed may lose up mental stability. This happens to be more in cases of senior people. So they may not know when and where they have been scammed. So try to go back to history and let yourself know about where they have been scammed. In some of the cases, the victim may know about being scammed, but may not realize it.
- Keep a check on the family and the friends quite often to get an efficient response. Your friends or family or someone can be essential for you to get the use of better results. So try to keep a check on the friends or the families who maybe just good savers or bring up other sources of income.
How To Spot Elder Fraud Happening To You?
- The most common type of fraud comes through the credit card. So make sure that you keep a proper check and keep yourself updated about it. You may receive some unexplained charges through your credit card which you need to clear out immediately. So if you see any charges as such, report them directly to the bank and get to know more.
- The one thing that you need to figure out is alerts from your bank. For any transactions, the bank tries to send you messages or even alerts. So be aware of it and even get the proper response every time. There are many credit card companies which crate fraud alert systems which will allow you to set up your alert types.
- Check your credit card report every month. Have a close look at every minute transaction that you are paying. Check for even the smallest amounts that you may be neglected but it is also affecting your payments. Such small amounts may just be one of the most typical types of fraud services which you may fall prey of. So make sure that you are safe with this.
How to Prevent Elder Fraud?
Elder fraud has become one of the primary targets for scammers because it becomes easy or even quite helpful for anyone to get accurate results out. Fraud can happen at any day and at any time without even notifying you. In fact, to get yourself protected from it, you need to be aware about how to prevent the fraud. Only if you are aware of the basic rules and the principles of E-safety, you can always get the best results.
- Most of the scammers try to pull out your personal information with the help of links sent to your email. You may receive several emails which allow you to claim multiple lottery prizes, insurance or even coverage even if you have not signed up for the website. To get a hold of this, never fill up any personal information such as an address, date of birth or even bank account details before filling up the forms.
- You may often find online strangers making to be friends with you. Being friends and finding new friends becomes healthy but it slowly turns out to be poison once you get scammed by such friends online. You may find a friend who will make friendship with you to clear out your problems and even offer you financial help. Stay away from such and never give out your personal information to such people.
- Always try to keep your personal information to be extremely personal and never try to share these things with anyone apart from your advisor. The scammer may be everywhere around you and may feel the need to asking for your banking information. So never try to provide them the information they are looking for and get the money they want. Talk only to the people you have assigned.
- Never respond to winning lotteries online. Lotteries or prize money can always be one of the most promising scamming opportunities for elderly people. You may get multiple websites where you can participate and immediately win a hefty amount that you cannot even dream about. Such types of websites are a scam which you need to be protected from.
- Try to get the help of a VPN. With the help of a Virtual Private Network, it becomes essential for you to keep protected your browsing. In fact it keeps all your data encrypted which makes it fairly difficult for the scammers to milk out money from your bank. In fact you can also monitor your online activity to increase the levels of security. Such steps will always help you to find the needs that you have been looking for.
How to do Safe Social Networking?
Social networking has become one of the primary targets for the scammers to exploit elders and scam out money from them. It is quite evident that after a certain time, seniors do feel lonely and find it extremely difficult to survive. They look for friendship opportunities which make their future life to be much more secure and also stable. But at the same time, no one knows about when it will be a fraud activity. So to get the evident results, you must always stay safe from any type of fraud services online. Here are ways to do Safe Social Networking.
- Always use a strong password and keep changing the password. Never try to keep the same password over and over again. Always try to mix up things and make new passwords. Make sure that you are not sharing the passwords with anyone else. This will allow them to get access to your social media sites.
- Try to be selective while accepting the friend requests. Most of the scammers try to use for different fake pictures present all over the internet to make friends with the elderly people and this is where the problem begins. With the help of such pictures and texts, they try to know more about the personal information about the social media networks.
- Click on the links with caution. Without opening the links it is fairly impossible to know which links can be helpful for you and which can be harmful. It becomes really difficult to understand which of them is a fraud and which one of them are good links. So never try to open links from non-trusted sources and then face problems.
- Make sure that you choose a Safe Social Networking friends and be selective about the cycle. You may receive spam messages about your personal information randomly in any of the Safe Social Networking accounts. But it is very important to keep the information safe and secure for you.
How to Report Elder Fraud?
Reporting about elder fraud is very important if you are trying to find out a way to get rid of such fraud services. Such activities are not only promoting the scammers to get more money but that the same time, it also protects a user from any type of fraud services. It is very important to report such fraud activities from any parts of the world. There are several agencies in Australia, Canada and also the USA brings up options to report for fraud services and such. You can contact their website and report about such activities directly.
Being elders and dealing with life is difficult. At the same time, it is also important to be aware of the technology around. Anyone can use the internet in two different ways- one for getting money from other people and the other way is to get a solution for your problems. But getting scammed can happen at any time. This complete guide on E-safety Guide for Elders will surely help you to find the needs that you are looking for.