Scammers target seniors with fake info | News, Sports, Jobs

Editor’s word: This month-to-month sequence highlights scams that target Mahoning County, significantly the senior neighborhood. Dr. Dave Long of Poland, a Youngstown State University graduate, is a retired public affairs officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Buffalo who later labored as an Elder Scam Prevention Outreach specialist with Lifespan in Rochester, N.Y., earlier than shifting again to the Mahoning Valley.
Most older adults got here of age as computer systems had been simply taking root within the office. But as laptop computer computer systems have turn out to be inexpensive, many seniors have taken the plunge and discovered to pay payments, ship electronic mail and “surf the online” for data and leisure.
Unfortunately, scammers have tailored a playbook of frauds to target seniors utilizing computer systems.
Many scams are based mostly on folks’s poor understanding of pc and web know-how. A senior could also be in search of data on-line when out of the blue the display screen begins flashing with warnings that his / her pc has turn out to be contaminated with a virus or different know-how risk.
At this level, the display screen and pc could seem like uncontrolled, although a hyperlink is plainly displayed for “assist.”
If you click on that “assist” button, a number of issues often occur.
Often the hyperlink will result in a toll-free quantity the place the senior is put in contact with a fake “service specialist” saying he / she will be able to repair pc issues when you purchase a service contract to guard your machine in opposition to viruses and assaults. The “service specialist” can also ask for banking and bank card data, and attempt to accumulate extra private data equivalent to Social Security and Medicare numbers.
Older adults are particularly susceptible to those scams attributable to their minimal understanding of pc know-how, and a bent to belief technical issues to folks claiming to be technical consultants.
The Federal Trade Commission has reported that seniors who fall for a pc tech help rip-off lose a mean of $500 per rip-off.
At greatest, older adults turn out to be ensnared in nugatory service agreements giving no precise safety in opposition to viruses or hacking.
At worst, scammers acquire the belief of seniors to steal private data, or set up hidden software program that permits the scammer to remotely hijack your pc for legal functions.
If you get a sudden cellphone name that your pc has an issue, dangle up. It’s a rip-off. Don’t belief something displayed in your caller ID display screen — this data is definitely altered by scammers to point out native cellphone numbers, or the identify of a trusted group.
If you suppose you may have signed up for a rip-off pc service settlement, name your financial institution to dispute any prices, and cancel your bank card. Your financial institution will rapidly difficulty a brand new bank card with totally different numbers.
Never name a quantity or click on a hyperlink in a pop-up message warning you about some pc downside. It’s a rip-off.
If your pc display screen begins to flash uncontrolled with a message a couple of virus, don’t contact any keys or buttons — simply flip off the ability to your pc. If you maintain down your “energy” button for 5 to 10 seconds, most machines will shut down.
Start your pc once more as typical, and don’t return to the rip-off web site.
If you might be doubtful a couple of attainable pc service rip-off, name a relative, buddy or member of the family with a greater understanding of computer systems. If you’ve given your bank card quantity, name your financial institution.
Seniors defend themselves in opposition to data know-how scams by understanding how they work and refusing to turn out to be a sufferer.
If you may have a query on a attainable rip-off, discuss to a member of the family or name your native police division. Seniors can even name their county Senior Services Unit for extra details about scams. In Mahoning County, name Bob Schaeffer at 330-480-5078. In Trumbull County, name Don Hyde at 330-675-7096.
[email protected]
Protect your self
Dave Long solutions questions throughout a sequence of month-to-month talks on the most recent scams, why scammers target seniors and the way to defend private data 1 p.m. fourth Thursday of each month on the Poland Township Government Center, 3339 Dobbins Road, Poland.

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