Today’s seniors are more tech-savvy than most people give them credit for. Unfortunately, the internet still poses safety concerns for elderly users. While many baby boomers are as knowledgeable as anyone about computers and the internet, older seniors and late-adopters are often easily fooled by online tricks and scams. How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams
If you’re concerned about an elderly loved one’s safety and security online, solutions are few and far between. You can’t be there every time your loved one is on the computer or using their tablet, and there’s no such thing as a foolproof app for detecting and preventing online scams.
One option you might not have thought about is home care. To help seniors navigate the internet and social media, some home care providers now offer tech-focused home care programs that provide seniors with in-home support for online technologies. These programs can be especially useful in combatting online fraud targeted at seniors.
Online Security Risks for Seniors
If you have an elderly loved one who uses or wants to use online technologies, your concern for their online security isn’t unfounded. Those over 65 are twice as likely to be victims of online fraud as the rest of the population, and that risk is increased in older seniors.
Older adults who use the internet can be susceptible to scams for three main reasons.
- First, seniors tend to be more susceptible than other age groups to all types of fraud, so many seniors are already at a disadvantage.
- Second, seniors who started using the internet late in life often aren’t equipped to identify obvious scams. The newer someone is to the internet, the more likely they are to click on a link most people would avoid.
- Third, and perhaps most disconcertingly, scammers know that seniors are more vulnerable. This has led scammers to target online spaces where seniors are more likely to spend time.
Senior dating websites, for instance, are rife with “sweetheart” scams, a type of catfishing scheme designed specially to target lonely seniors. Fraudsters pretend to be a senior looking for love, target a vulnerable senior, then spend weeks or months developing an online relationship, often moving the relationship offline to avoid detection. Finally, the scammer invents a story where they desperately need funds, convinces the targeted senior to wire them money, and then disappears forever.
Other common scams include impersonation of tax officials, pretending to be grandchildren asking for funds, phishing websites that trick seniors into giving up banking information, or emails that ask seniors to submit sensitive personal information to receive a free prize that doesn’t actually exist.
Senior Home Care & Online Security
Helping protect seniors from obvious online scams is one of the biggest benefits of tech-focused home care services. These programs partner seniors with caregivers who are experienced internet users. Caregivers guide seniors as they use the internet and social media, giving helpful tips and advice.
When caregivers spot a dangerous looking website, email, or instant message, they can warn the senior not to engage with it. If seniors are uncertain about whether or not something is safe, they can ask the caregiver for advice.
For many seniors, having an experienced internet user around can make their online experience much less stressful and much more enjoyable. If you’re worried that your loved one might fall for an online scam, chances are that they’re just as worried as you are. Pairing them with a caregiver who can help them stay safe online will give them peace of mind and allow them to surf without anxiety.
If you think a tech-focused home care program could be beneficial to your loved one, we invite you to contact your local Visiting Angels office to learn more. How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams
How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams
How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams How Home Care Can Protect Seniors from Online Scams