I love my father, but I can certainly tell you that Dad and technology do not mix.
And at 76-years old, he is especially vulnerable to attacks known as a phishing scam.
In the article, I am going to explain what exactly a phishing scam is and how seniors can protect themselves…and also, how caregivers can teach the seniors in their lives so that they do not fall victim.
What Is A Phishing Scam
A phishing scam is an attempt to illegally gain access to your personal and financial information by means of tricking the recipient into thinking that a legitimate company sent the request.
Most commonly you will receive the email which looks like it is coming from a legitimate company, such as…
- Your bank or another financial institution (ie: Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc…), or
An internet retailer (ie: Amazon, PayPal, eBay, etc…)
In the email, you will be asked to “update your information” which is the way that the hacker gets your information in the first place. Things like your name, address, Social Security number and credit card number will be asked for.
Scams On The Rise
A chart on Wikipedia, which I am reproducing below, shows you that these scams are extremely common and that they are on the rise…
What To Do About It
Follow these phishing scam protection tips below to keep your information safe!
How To Tell If An Email Is Legitimate
The image below is an example of a phishing scam email. I am using it here, and giving credit to Bellevue College for the image, to give you an idea of the features that are in these scams.
No financial institution will ask you to send them your financial information online. If you have a question, call the company directly and ask.
Anytime you receive an email requesting that you log into your account, do not click any login links included in the email. Instead go directly to your hosting company and log into your account from there.
Use this tip to protect yourself from phishing scams for ALL organizations.
- Never submit confidential information in a form embedded within an email message.
- Hold your mouse cursor over the link, but do not click! The page that will open if you click on the link should appear on the mouse hover. Many times the actual link you will see by hovering over it will not match the one listed in the phishing email.
- Your hosting company will never ask you to provide your password, credit card number, or other personal information directly through email.
- If they ever do request information or action from you, they will, most likely, do so within their support ticket system.
- The most secure way to reply is ALWAYS to go directly to your hosting company website, log in, and submit your reply directly from there.
For The Technically Novice Senior
If you are a senior and you don’t understand everything that I laid out, or you are a caregiver who is struggling to try and explain phishing scams to your loved one, here is a simple tip that can help.
When in doubt, never send confidential information to anyone online. Always pick up the phone and confirm anything that is received suspiciously with a representative at the company.