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Seniors a target for computer scammers


The senior population will grow dramatically in the coming years, as the massive baby boomer generation continues to reach retirement age each day. Many organizations and companies are starting to prepare for the growing number of senior citizens, while others are looking for ways to take advantage.

According to the news channel KATV-TV, seniors are becoming big targets for hackers, as seniors may not be as adept at adding security to protect the personal information stored on their computers.

However, scams involving the elderly don’t always happen through the computer. One elderly man was sought out through his phone, as a stranger called asking about his computer behavior.

“They had reason to believe that I had inappropriate material on my computer,” victim Richard Denson told the news source. “And I said ‘Well I have no idea what inappropriate would be.’ They said ‘Well, illicit material.’ I said ‘Pornography? I don’t indulge in that. And if you are telling me this, I said we’ve got a big argument.'”

The person on the phone was attempting to find any information to give them access to Denson’s technology. Once they do so, they can implement a virus, allowing them to find any information they want on the senior’s computer.

There is also “The Grandparent Scam,” which the FBI has been warning aging adults across the country about, according to the Aiken Standard. In this scenario, the scammer emails a senior citizen claiming to be their grandchild. They explain that they are in Mexico and lost their cell phone along with their belongings. Then, the hacker asks for personal information including credit card numbers and bank accounts.

Seniors who need a few lessons on how to be tech-savvy can seek out classes or possibly set up a computer monitoring system to ensure no one is accessing the personal information on their device.

According to the Standard-Examiner, middle schoolers from Utah are helping out senior citizens in the area by giving them lessons on how to use a computer. These teens are leading computer classes, so aging adults can be a little more prepared to protect themselves as well as learn how to use basic sites. These aging adults can also learn how to use social media sites, so they can keep in touch with their family and friends who live far away.