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Staying Cyber-Safe: Tips for Seniors

You have worked hard for your money and want to keep it safe. Unfortunately, there are people who want to part you from it and are using new and advanced ways of doing so.

You’ve likely received emails, text messages or phone calls from people or companies pretending to be someone or something they’re not. Often charlatans are easy to spot but there are those who are very skilled at separating you from your money.

Here are some things to consider when receiving an email, text or phone call:

  1. Does it evoke emotion? If an email, text or phone call makes you panic it’s likely malicious. Cyber-criminals use fear to get you to take an action, like clicking on a link or opening an attachment. Beware of people creating a sense of urgency or making your feel threatened. They’re trying to get you to act before you think.
  2. Is it money related? Is the message saying you owe money to the gas company, CRA, etc? Often scams involve either threats to the money you do have or provide you opportunities to save a lot of money on things you might want. Remember that if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
  3. Is it romance related? Sometimes cyber-criminals will prey upon elderly people’s loneliness. Has a message come from out of the blue? Be cautious. These criminals can try and get you to transfer or launder money by offering promises of love.
  4. Is the contact information correct? There’s a technique cyber-criminals use call “spear phishing” where they send you an email making it seem like it’s from someone you know. Check the email address? Is it correct? If it seems suspicious, call the person or company to confirm.
  5. Trust your gut. If it seems suspicious it often is. Things that are too good to be true, major problems that come out of the blue, these are all ways cyber-criminals get you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  6. Stay informed. Cyber-criminals are always looking for new ways to cheat people out of their money so remember to stay vigilant and to stay up to date on the latest scam trends.

Unfortunately, seniors are often the target of cyber-criminal activity. Using these techniques as well as those found here can help protect you.

Many seniors think, “Who’d want to steal my information?” but there are those out there who do. Elderly people are unfortunately targeted so require extra thought and care to protect themselves, even in a place as friendly as Eastern Ontario. Whether you are receiving home care in Ottawa, community support services in Eastern Counties or living in one of our retirement homes in Pembroke, we want you to be safe.

Don’t be afraid, just smart and cautious as you’ll be surfing safely for years to come.