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Through Private Eyes: Why the elderly are vulnerable online scams

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the rapid pace of changing technology.

Just about every year a new Iphone or tablet gets released that not only updates but also dramatically changes many of the features we just got used too.

Even for the most tech savvy, it’s almost impossible to keep up.

Spare a thought then for older Australians who are the most vulnerable demographic in this technological whirlwind.

Research indicates that one in five users of the Internet aged 50 and over have at least once been a victim of online fraud. The likelihood of this statistic is because elderly Australians are much more likely to chat online, give away personal information and be caught up in phony love scams.

When using Australian women (over 50) as an example, we uncovered that as much as $7 million was being sent every month to scammers living in West Africa.

Victims are often targeted in Christian chat rooms, with fraudsters spending months building up relationships and, ultimately, false hope amongst Australia’s aging population.

Another worrying statistic is how seniors are much more likely than any other demographic to be caught in credit card fraud by replying to an official looking email that was in fact a scam.

These sort of mistakes usually come down to a lack of internet experience but just about everyday there are new cases of elderly Australians paying for things they didn’t purchase or bank account details being accessed without the users knowledge.

So how can we educate the elderly about staying safe on the Internet?

Here are a few tips:

-Never send money to people you petition you for it over the phone or online.

-Don’t chat to anyone you don’t know overseas.

-Conduct background research which might include Googling names or running profile photos through a search engine to see if they have been stolen.

We at Lyonswood know that the tactics scammers use are constantly evolving which is why education on this topic must always be updated.

Please keep visiting this website for the latest information about online scams or why not view a previous blog entry on this subject:

The dangers of online phishing scams