In our digital era, many tasks that used to require face-to-face interaction have moved online. Take banking. Driving to the bank and waiting in line to speak to a teller is no longer necessary for many transactions.
Online banking is the way of the future, and many senior citizens are following suit. However, our elderly loved ones face a higher risk of suffering online scams. If your mother, father or another relative who is a senior citizen has made the jump to online banking, this is how you can help them avoid fraud.
Why seniors are at risk
Anyone can fall victim to fraud. Senior citizens, however, are particularly vulnerable. They make popular targets for criminals, scammers and unscrupulous individuals who would take advantage of them via online banking. Why?
Seniors have spent a lifetime accumulating assets and property. This is tempting to anyone looking to line their own pockets. What’s more, many seniors do not have the technological savvy to recognize common online scams such as phishing. Old age is also when many people begin to experience intellectual decline or physical disability, which leaves them less capable of defending themselves.
How to protect seniors from scams
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help your loved one avoid online banking scams. These include:
- Educate your loved one about internet safety
- Install security software on their computer and other devices
- Communicate regularly about their finances
- Keep watch for any suspicious transactions
- Help them to change their passwords regularly
- Consider seeking a guardianship or conservatorship if they have lost their capacity
Granted, these precautionary measures cannot prevent every instance of fraud. If your elderly parent or relative fell prey to internet bank fraud, report the scam to authorities immediately. Consider your legal options, as you may need to file a lawsuit against the perpetrator to recover compensation for your loved one’s damages.