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Protecting Yourself From Online Scammers

As technology advances, so do the tactics of scammers. Older adults are often targeted by online scammers due to their perceived vulnerability and lack of familiarity with modern technology. Many older people may not realize that they are being scammed until it's too late, leaving them susceptible to identity theft, financial loss, and other harmful consequences.

There are several ways in which older people can fall victim to online scammers. Scammers are known to pose as a trustworthy organization or government agency, such as the IRS or a bank (they’ve even tried to imitate Legal Aid organizations) to trick their targets into divulging sensitive information. They may also use fake emails or social media accounts to deceive older adults into clicking on links that download malware onto their devices. Scammers may even offer fake investment opportunities or sweepstakes winnings to lure older adults into sending them money or giving away personal information.

To avoid falling victim to online scammers, older adults can take several precautions:

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails, phone calls, or text messages, especially if they are asking for sensitive information or requesting money.
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  • Verify the identity of anyone claiming to be from a government agency or financial institution by calling the organization directly.
  • Be cautious when making online purchases, especially from unfamiliar websites, and only use secure payment methods.
  • Look out for any investment opportunities, sweepstakes winnings, or deals that seem too good to be true.

Visit the Consumer Protection section of the Ohio Attorney General’s website to learn how to protect yourself from fraud and scams, and how you can file an official complaint if you or a loved one have been a victim of fraud.

About the author

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is a non-profit regional law firm that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.