3 Tips for the Elderly to Avoid Senior Targeted Scams - AHealthyLifeForUs.com


Monday, September 30, 2019

3 Tips for the Elderly to Avoid Senior Targeted Scams

Scammers & Senior Targets

The computer dependent world was paralyzed on May 12, 2017 as a result of a malware called WannaCry attacked more than 230,000 Microsoft operating system computers in 150 countries. This attack crippled business transactions immediately, hospitals, and transportation and communication systems. One of the recent tech scams to cause worldwide panic is WannaCry. It encrypts internet user’s computer data and demands ransom money to give it back. Until four days, the cyber-attack could not be contained from its outbreak. Microsoft President and legal adviser Brad Smith explained that the company has issued a security patch for system protection two months before the attack.

However, he was disappointed that few users updated their computer systems. He added that cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated so Microsoft users should always update their systems. Even owners of older operating systems of Microsoft should update for protection against malware attacks and other tech scams. Software technology advances and so does hackers. Every time software companies come up with new and seemingly unhackable system defenses, hackers will come up with new means to penetrate those defenses. In total, 19 cyber-attack was recorded in 2016 alone and it affected companies such as Citibank, Yahoo.com, Banner health and other government institutions such as the U.S. Department of Treasury was not left out. The major people vulnerable to scammers are older adults as everybody else when it comes to tech scams. According to the Federal
Trade Commission data; computer scams rank fourth to the fraud complaints from seniors in 2016.

How to Avoid Senior Scams

  1. Watch out for signs that tell your personal information have been compromised. American Senior Communities (ASC) received an email from an ASC executive requesting copies of employees’ W-2s in January 2017. W-2 is a form which contains Social Security number, names, address and other information of an employee. The e-mail looked authentic so the payroll processor forwarded the W-2's as requested. Not until employees reported that the tax collecting agency rejected their tax returns did ASC figured out they've been scammed. The authorities and ASC got the report of the incident and they are currently paying for credit monitoring of their former and present employees.
  2. Do not reply to malicious emails or click email attachments. Emails which doesn't address you by name, email with masked hyperlinks and attachments which are non-executable files are common signs of a malicious email. Double check emails which are requesting for personal information even if the sender is someone you know. Call the sender directly to confirm the authenticity of the email. Ignore calls or pop-up messages claiming they have found a virus on your PC and are offering to fix it. These tech scammers usually use names of big companies like Microsoft and claim to have found a virus or a malware on your computer. The posing technician will then install software to fix your PC and will later charge several hundred dollars through credit card or online payment. The software installed and the service they have provided are unnecessary because there is actually nothing wrong with your computer. The worst part is this tech scammers go as far as threaten victims that they will destroy their computer if they refuse the service being rendered.
  3. Always make sure that your security patches have the latest updates. Keeping your security patches up to date blocks hackers from using software vulnerabilities to penetrate your computer system. Recent Microsoft security patches can be set to update automatically so you don't have to worry that you haven't installed updates for your computer. This is not a 100% guarantee of safety against tech scams but it will make it harder for attackers to break into your system, therefore pushing less-determined hackers to lok for other vulnerable systems to penetrate.

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