In 2020, over $966 million was lost in cases of elder fraud. This form of elder abuse had more than 105,000 victims. Elderly in California, Florida, New York, and Texas had the highest rates of elder fraud. That’s just one type of elder abuse.
Elder abuse affects as many as 5 million older adults each year. One way to keep your parents safe is by teaching your parents about online security. November 30th is Computer Security Day. It’s a good day to go over safety when they’re online.
Install and Use a Security Suite
All computers should have a security suite installed and updated regularly. Could you set it to do updates daily? Make sure your parents know how to make sure it’s turned on and running. Daily scans are also crucial when it comes to staying safe.
Don’t Store Cards Online
When they’re shopping, stores often ask to store the card for future purchases. Your parents should opt out of that service. It’s better not to have the card information sitting in a database.
When your mom and dad purchase items online, they should see if their bank offers virtual, one-time-use credit cards for safety. Once they’ve completed the purchase, the card doesn’t get used again. It helps them avoid using their real card information for an online purchase.
Have Tough Passwords
Your parents cannot use easily guessed passwords. ABC123 or PASSWORD are not good options. They need a password that’s at least eight digits long, has numbers and symbols, and contains uppercase and lowercase letters.
Your parents can write down the passwords in a notebook that they store in their safe or a locking drawer. They can choose a password that they will remember that still meets safety criteria by swapping symbols and numbers for some of the letters. For example, your mom loves The Beatles. She could use TheB34t!es as her password.
If you suspect your mom or dad is a victim of fraud, contact the police. It’s also essential to report online fraud to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. What if the suspected abuse is happening in person? Is a family member or family friend stealing money from your parents?
Talk to an elder law attorney. It’s important to learn more about what steps you can take to protect your mom and dad from further abuse. Contact an elder law practice today to schedule a consultation.