Scammers Pose as Tech Support to Unsuspecting Seniors
Tech support scammers target older people because they believe them to be more trusting and they tend to be more financially secure than younger people.
We have seen this many times before, our mother, grandmother, or grandfather gets a call with someone claiming that there was an issue with her computer, and an urgent claim to do something about it right away.
The person on the other end will tell the unsuspecting elderly person that they could help her — but it would cost. The elderly person on the phone is alarmed and as a result, trusts the younger person on the other end of the line and they go right to their wallet for a credit card or to their bank to arrange a wire.
Often these calls come with warnings including the following:
- Not to speak about this with friends or family
- We can hear your conversations
- Once any access was granted to a computer so “support can be provided” they can gain further access to personal information
- Often recurring payments are ‘required’ for continued support
These people who were calling were not calling to help. This is typical for a ‘tech support scam’ which is when a scammer calls, messages, emails, or uses pop-ups to convince someone that there’s an issue with their device.
Through subsequent communications and coercive tactics often result in scamming elderly people of thousands of dollars. Often it will also necessitate additional measures to shut out the scammers from being able to perpetuate further fraud using any of the elderly people’s details.
High Pressure Tactics are Used to Target Elderly
The scammers use high-pressure scare tactics to gain remote access to victims’ computers or to get them to send large amounts of cash. They’ll usually pose as someone from a recognized, reputable organization like a bank, hospital, or software company (we’ve even had reports of scammers posing as Avast) in order to create an immediate layer of trust with potential victims.
Another statistic from Avast observes a 251% increase in consumer attacks from January 2021 to December of the same year.
According to the FBI, 66% of the victims of tech support scams in 2020 were over 60 years of age and the total loss of money amounted to over $116 million.
Tech support scammers specifically target older people because they believe them to be more trusting, hope they might have memory problems, and they tend to be more financially secure than younger people. The people perpetuating these frauds are professionals, dedicated to targeting the elderly.
Prevent Your Elderly Loved One from Getting Scammed
Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself and your loved ones against this kind of scam — and you’ve already taken the first step by reading this post. You should also know that no legitimate tech support will ever contact you without you contacting them first.
If someone does, hang up immediately, and call someone you trust right away.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind if you have had a call with a ‘tech support scammer’.
1. If you’ve already given them access to your devices or your bank accounts, call your financial institution immediately, let them know what happened, and see if it’s possible to block any outgoing payments or wires.
2. Then, call a legitimate company to make sure that your device doesn’t have any viruses or lingering software placed there by the scammers. The best way to ensure that a company is legitimate is to get contact information from someone in your life that you trust or to navigate to a website on your own.
3. Do not call any numbers or click any links sent to you by someone you don’t know, even if you recognize the name of the organization they claim to be from.
To learn more about how In-Home Care can help improve your loved ones’ quality of life, call Alliance Senior Care at 248-274-2170. It’s not just In-Home Care, it is Integrated Care.
Home Care Services are an excellent resource for family caregivers and seniors alike.
Alliance Senior Care Home Care services offer a wide range of services providing healthcare, daily living assistance, transportation to and from Doctor’s appointments and tailored care services for additional circumstances.