Scams, Identity Theft, and Online Security

Scams, Identity Theft, and Online Security

Scams, Identity Theft, and Online Security

Scams, Identity Theft, and Online Security:

Do you know how to protect your aging parents against fraud?

Take This Quiz and Find Out

Do you know how to protect your aging parents against fraud?
Do you know how to protect your aging parents against fraud?
Phony lotteries and sweepstakes, impostors posing as Social Security or Medicare representatives, investment schemes and offers for free or discount medications are some of the ways criminals scam people across the country.

Another is called the “Grandparent Scam.” A grandparent receives a call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. The voice on the phone doesn’t quite sound like the grandchild, but the caller knows the grandparent’s name and other family information. “Please help me!” the grandchild says. “I’m in Mexico and my wallet was stolen. I can’t get home unless you wire me money now!”

These scams are a big threat to Americans. Financial fraud and abuse of those over 50 cost Americans $36.5 billion per year. Family/friend emergency scams such as the “Grandparent Scam” lead to a median loss of $2,174 per victim. And more than 2.6 million people 50 or over are victims of identity theft each year.

Americans of all ages are susceptible to fraud. According to AARP, 13.1 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity theft last year, but the problem is especially prevalent for those 60 and over. “People who grew up in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s were generally raised to be polite and trusting,” said an FBI report on scams. “Con artists exploit these traits, knowing that it is difficult or impossible for these individuals to say ‘no’ or just hang up the telephone.”

Falling prey to fraud also may occur because of age-related cognitive decline. “Financial decision-making capacity is the first thing to go when a person starts to develop dementia,” said Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, a registered nurse, attorney, family mediator and author of the book The Family Guide to Aging Parents.

Identity theft, scams and online fraud are skyrocketing as technology use grows: 42 percent of adults age 65 and older now own smartphones, and 67 percent use the internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. As technology use rises, so too does the opportunity for high-tech scamming and identity theft.

Raising awareness is one of the best ways to protect your parents from fraud. “Common scams such as the ‘Grandparent Scam’ and IRS scams are successful mainly because people are caught unaware,” Rosenblatt said. To understand how prepared you are to protect your parents and yourself from scams and fraud, take this quiz, which will help identify gaps in your fraud-protection knowledge. Then, turn to AARP for a wealth of resources about fraud protection and online security. “If adult children are aware,” Rosenblatt said, “they can help head off fraud before it happens.”

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01 Which of these passwords is the most secure for online use? 01. Which of these passwords is the most secure for online use? DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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123456

passw0rd

bU%3k!m

eat my grits breakfast

02 Which is the most secure way to verify your identity with your bank, investment firm, email service provider, cloud storage service or other online account? 02. Which is the most secure way to verify your identity with your bank, investment firm, email service provider, cloud storage service or other online account? DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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Security questions such as “What is your mother’s maiden name?” or “What was the name of your elementary school?”

Two-factor authentication

A complex password

03 True or false:

Adults over 60 who are victims of fraud are more likely than younger people to report it.
03. Adults over 60 who are victims of fraud are more likely than younger people to report it. DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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True

False

04 What is the most common way that identity thieves steal personal information? 04. What is the most common way that identity thieves steal personal information? DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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Taking paper mail from postal mailboxes

Stealing a wallet or purse

Looking through garbage

Looking over someone’s shoulder at a coffee shop and viewing their personal data on their computer screen

05 True or false:

It’s best to turn off Wi-Fi on your laptop, phone and tablet when you’re not using them.
05. It’s best to turn off Wi-Fi on your laptop, phone and tablet when you’re not using them. DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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True

False

06 If you receive an unsolicited email from a sender you don’t recognize, the safest thing to do is: 06. If you receive an unsolicited email from a sender you don’t recognize, the safest thing to do is: DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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Open the email, read the message, and if the email seems unsafe, hit Reply and tell the sender not to remove you from their email list

Open the email to check it, then delete it immediately if it’s not from someone you trust or it asks for personal information such as your name, address, password or account number

Delete without opening it

Don’t open it, but save it just in case you need to refer to it another time

07 Cybersecurity experts recommend sticking with trusted websites for online shopping, banking and investing. In a website address with a URL that starts with the letters “HTTPS,” what does the S stand for? 07. Cybersecurity experts recommend sticking with trusted websites for online shopping, banking and investing. In a website address with a URL that starts with the letters “HTTPS,” what does the S stand for? DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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Search

Secure

Server

Shielded

08 True or false:

The theft of personal medical information is a more serious problem than the theft of personal financial information
08. The theft of personal medical information is a more serious problem than the theft of personal financial information DRAG ANSWER HERE DRAG ANSWER HERE scroll

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True

False

Your Fraud Prevention Score

0
/8

Click here to discover all the resources and information available at AARP

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