You’ve seen them—those emails that promise you untold wealth from a Nigerian prince if you just click on a link or wire some money. Scams like that are called phishing, an attempt to collect personal information for the purposes of committing identity theft or gaining access to financial accounts and information. You may know how to avoid them, but does your aging family member?
While email has been around for a long time, older adults did not grow up using it, and may even have only begun using it recently. It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be dangerous if they don’t know how to spot fraudulent emails. Below are some tips to help older adults recognize phishing emails.
Emails That are Not Personalized
Legitimate emails from companies the senior does business with, such as their bank or email provider, will be personalized. Companies know the names of their customers and will use them when they communicate. However, using a person’s name does not automatically mean the email is safe. Watch for other signs of phishing, too.
Poor Spelling or Grammar
Phishing emails are often poorly written. They are riddled with spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Real companies use professional copywriters and editors to ensure their communications are error free.
Personal Information is Requested
An email from a legitimate company may ask recipients to log in to their account, but they won’t ask them to send back personal information, such as PIN numbers, account numbers, or birthdates. The company already has that information, so there is no need for you to provide it. Seniors should also never respond to an email that asks for their password, the answer to a security question, or a credit card number.
Offers That are Too Good To Be True
Emails that make ridiculously good offers are not legitimate. This is especially true if they ask the recipient to send money to cover the expense of receiving the item offered. For example, they might receive an email that says they won a large sum of money, but they need to wire money to an account to claim their winnings. Remind the senior that real contests don’t ask for money to get prizes.
Home care can help your aging relative to avoid phishing scams. A home care provider can help the senior by reminding them of email “rules” that avoid phishing. They can also act as an advisor if the older adult receives an email they are unsure of. Home care providers can also assist older adults with vision problems to read the emails they receive, giving them a great opportunity to talk about avoiding fraudulent messages.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Houston, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Latest posts by Donna Wrabel, LMSW (see all)
- How Can You Care for a Senior in the Middle Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease? - September 14, 2018
- How to Create a Meditation Space - September 6, 2018
- You’ve Heard of Scabies in the News, but Do You Know What It Is? - August 31, 2018