Avoiding scams—for seniors:
Be cautious and resist pressure to act quickly
Watch out for unsolicited phone calls, mailings, and door-to-door services offers—particularly those that create a sense of urgency or use scare tactics to lure you into immediate action. Those are telltale signs of a scam.
Keep your personal information to yourself
Scammers will pose as a person of authority in the hope that you will follow along. They’ll ask for things like your Social Security number, credit card number, and other financial details—and may bully or pressure you into doing so. If you find someone asking these questions, particularly on a call you didn’t expect to receive, it could be a scam.
Beware those seeking gifts
Whether it’s money, jewelry, or gift cards, scammers will often ask for funds in payment methods that are tough to track and even tougher to refund in the event of fraud. This is often a top sign of fraud and that the friend who asked you for those funds really isn’t your friend, as difficult as that may feel to realize.
Be careful what you click and download
Never open an email attachment from someone you don't know and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you. Even messages that look like they are from friends, families, and colleagues can contain sketchy links and malware-loaded attachments. Reach out to the person who sent it and confirm that it’s legitimate and that they meant to send it.
Avoiding scams—for their friends and family:
Keep in touch
Being there to lend an ear or a helping hand goes a long way toward keeping the elders in your life safe from scams. Chat about what they’re doing online. Questions about their devices and what they’re doing online will inevitably come up as a natural part of the conversation. It’ll be a great comfort to them knowing that you’re around to lend them a quick answer as needed.
Lean on the experts
Several banks and financial institutions offer resources that can help protect elder customers. See what they have to offer. Also, look to resources from the American Association of Retired People (AARP), such as the AARP fraud hotline. Also, you and your family can learn plenty more about scam prevention in our McAfee Safety Series, a set of straightforward guides that cover topics like phishing, identity theft, and staying safe on social media.