In 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center received 88,262 fraud reports from people 60 and older. This number is higher than it is for other demographics because the elderly are especially vulnerable to scams.
Caretakers can take proactive steps to safeguard their elderly loved ones from this type of risk.
Educate older people about common scams. Provide them with information on the latest tactics, such as phishing emails, fake calls from supposed government agencies and fraudulent investment opportunities. They may not be aware that these threats exist.
Monitor financial statements
If your loved ones are still financially independent, encourage them to review their bank and credit card statements. By keeping a close eye on their financial transactions, they can identify any unauthorized or suspicious activities. If you help them with their finances, ask them about any vendors you do not recognize.
Secure personal information
Remind your elderly family members to be cautious about sharing personal information, especially over the phone or online. Scammers sometimes pretend to be family members or long-lost friends asking for help. Reinforce the principle that legitimate organizations would never request personal information through unsolicited calls or emails.
Install security software
Equip your loved ones’ devices with reliable security software to protect against online threats. Ensure that their antivirus and anti-malware programs are up-to-date to prevent hackers from stealing information. Remind them to update passwords and offer to keep copies in case they forget or misplace them.
It can be difficult to protect your elderly loved ones when they are struggling to maintain their independence. The best way to help them stay safe is to put safety measures in place and to report any suspicious activity right away.