Empowering Elders: Essential Tips to Navigate Fraud and Avoid Scams

The internet is a double-edged sword for seniors. It offers countless conveniences and opportunities for connection while posing significant risks for older adults. Elders are particularly vulnerable to fraud and cyberattacks due to various factors, including a lack of familiarity with technology and the increasingly sophisticated tactics used by cybercriminals. However, with the proper knowledge and precautions, seniors can navigate the digital world safely and confidently.

Here are some essential tips to help elders protect themselves against fraud:

1. Recognize Common Scams

Understanding the types of scams that target seniors is the first step in prevention. Typical schemes include phishing emails, fraudulent phone calls, and social media scams. Phishing emails often appear to be from legitimate sources like banks or government agencies, asking for personal information or prompting you to click on malicious links. Fraudulent phone calls may claim to be from tech support, offering to fix non-existent computer problems for a fee. Social media scams can involve fake friend requests or messages that trick you into revealing personal information.

Action Tip: Always verify the identity of the person or organization contacting you. Do not share personal information or click on links in unsolicited emails or messages. When in doubt, contact the organization directly using a known phone number or website.

2. Use Strong, Unique Passwords

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect your online accounts is to use strong, unique passwords. A strong password typically includes a mix of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information such as your name, birthdate, or common words.

Action Tip: Consider using a password manager, a tool that helps generate and store complex passwords securely. This way, you only need to remember one master password.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts by requiring a password and a second verification form, such as a code sent to your phone or email. This makes it much harder for cybercriminals to access your accounts, even if they have your password.

Action Tip: Enable 2FA on all accounts that offer it, especially those that contain sensitive information, such as email, banking, and social media accounts.

4. Be Cautious with Personal Information

Cybercriminals often gather personal information to commit identity theft or other types of fraud. Be mindful of what you share online, including social media. Even seemingly harmless details, like your pet’s name or your favorite color, can be used to guess passwords or answer security questions.

Action Tip: Review your privacy settings on social media platforms to limit who can see your personal information. Only accept friend requests or connections from people you know.

5. Seek Help When Needed

If you suspect that you have been targeted by a scam or feel overwhelmed by the complexities of cybersecurity, do not hesitate to seek help. Family members, friends, or professional services can provide assistance and guidance.

Action Tip: Keep a list of trusted contacts, including family members, friends, and services, who you can contact for help with cybersecurity concerns.


LibertyID Identity Theft Solutions for Individuals, Couples, and Families* provides its subscribers with 360° fully managed identity fraud concierge restoration services.  We are experts in resolving all common forms of identity fraud.  Our subscribers can also enroll in our Proactive Detection, which monitors and sends alerts when their SSN, Address, Dark Web, criminal record, and credit reports change.

*LibertyID defines an extended family as you, your spouse/partner, your parents and parents-in-law, and your children under the age of 25.