Fraud, Investments, and Our Elder Parents

Check out “Why Older People are Vulnerable to Fraud & How to Protect Them, a February 2017 New York Times article that describes the ways older adults are susceptible to fraudulent phone calls and offers, especially when it concerns investments. It also  makes suggestions about what people who get entangled in these offers can do. The report shares a study conducted by AARP.

Just about everyone receives telephone calls asking them to use their money to do something. The trick as one ages, I believe, is to avoid making any initial decision over the telephone and to be fairly abrupt or rude  — or just hang up — when answering the phone and discovering that a caller is attempting to sell something. The problem is, most of the elders in my life would never think of being rude — it is not a part of their personal DNA.

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The Senior’s Guide to Online Safety

connect-safely-for-seniorsAdult children often find themselves providing technology support services for their aging parents. Now there’s a new, research-based resource to help.

The Connect Safely organization has recently published The Senior’s Guide to Online Safety. The publication contains important information, it’s free, and it’s simple to download as a PDF file. Adult children may want to print the booklet and share this short and easy-to-read guide.

The Seniors Guide to Online Safety addresses a range of issues that are critical for senior and elder adults to consider and understand as they go about online activities. The guide includes safety and privacy tips, information on a range of scams, guidance about securing wifi, and advice about protecting identify and financial information. The goal is to educate older adults with information that comes from experts.

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Why Can’t We Do Something About Phone Scams???

Visit the Federal Trade Commission to learn more about telephone scams and discover  how to protect yourself.

Visit the Federal Trade Commission to learn more about telephone scams and discover how to protect your aging parents and yourself.

I detest scam telephone calls, and I am specially upset about how these scammers take advantage of elders.

I am off work during much of the time this week, and today alone I’ve received three scam telephone calls — two from the people who claimed that my Microsoft Windows has a glitch and one from Rachel at cardholders services. It’s only 10:00 AM in the morning.

Why can’t we put a stop these calls? I know how to identify them and basically hang up — but they are truly irritating, not to mention a huge waste of time. Moreover, while I have the knowledge to ignore the phone calls when I feel like it (or sometimes give the swindlers a hard time), plenty of other people, including many elders are victims of fraud.                           Continue reading

Windows Security Message Fraud Telephone Calls — It Finally Happened to Me!

I am so excited that I received this scam phone call so I can share exactly what happened! Lots of these calls come during the day when senior adults are at home.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.37.50 PMThe phone rings. The phone caller identifies himself as a Microsoft security officer and tells me that my computer is sending out messages to Microsoft that indicate it has a terrible virus. He offers to help. All I have to do is open the door (my computer’s door, that is) so he can fix my computer. It’s a scam, but I decided to lead him on.

When I tell the caller that my computer has up-to-date security and virus protection, he says that it is not working, and he is urgent about the possibility that I may lose data, personal information, or worse still, private financial files

I wonder whether I should I mention to him that I have a Mac computer and that the operating system is not run by Microsoft so it cannot possibly be sending out error messages.

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