In a world with ever-changing and advancing technology, our habits and schedules regularly shift. The way we utilize that technology changes regularly, and often for the better. But, as technology shifts, so do various fraud and scam operations.
Thanks to generational gaps, fraud and scam techniques can affect anyone in your family, from your senior parents to your children. It’s crucial to be vigilant when it comes to both old and new “techniques” scammers like to use. Educating yourself and the people you love can make a big difference when it comes to protecting your personal information and assets.
So, what are some of the most common frauds and scams to be aware of? More importantly, how can you make sure you and your family stay safe from such threats?
The Cybersecurity Era
Online scams are more prevalent than ever and tend to impact those who might not have as much knowledge about digital security. Children, for example, are often victims of online scams. It’s estimated that over 1 million children have their identities stolen every year, and that shows no signs of slowing down. In 2019, phishing attempts grew by 65%.
Some of the most common Internet scams include
- Shopping scams
- “Fine print” scams
- Bad downloads
- Health insurance scams
- Fake debt help
- Identity theft
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from these threats is to educate them. Make sure everyone in your family is aware of the different types of cybercrimes so they know how to protect themselves.
You can also put extra precautions in place by limiting the websites your children or elderly family members can visit, or keeping user credentials to yourself so no one else in the family has access. Make sure you’re staying up-to-date with the latest in cybercrimes. You might feel like you’re on top of things now, but because technology changes so quickly, cybercriminals are always looking for new forms of attack.
Even though using the Internet is one of the fastest and easiest ways for scammers to get what they want, there are still more “old-fashioned” methods of fraud impacting people every day.
One of the most common, especially in this era of rapidly-growing delivery services and subscription boxes, is package delivery scams. These can happen in a few different ways and affect anyone. But, they can be incredibly risky for seniors who live by themselves.
Package delivery scams can occur through phishing emails, text messages or voice calls, or even phony missed delivery tags. When someone gets notified that they missed a package delivery or they need to contact a certain number for information about their delivery, it’s easy for scammers to get the information they want. Some criminals might even be watching your home and keeping track of your delivery information so they can swoop in and steal your packages right away. It’s a terrifying thought, but it happens more often than you might think.
You can protect yourself and your loved ones from scams like these by keeping track of any strange emails, texts, calls, or pieces of mail. If you have an older parent or grandparent, consider going through their mail with them a few times a week to ensure they aren’t receiving anything abnormal. In your own household, take charge of all delivery and subscription services, and make sure your children never respond to requests for more information from such services.
As the world continues to change, so will the types of scams that affect people. You can do your part by staying ahead of these fraudulent behaviors, educating the people you love, and taking extra precautions to protect your identity and information.