Scam-proof yourself

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Fight back! We have to stay on our toes when it comes to avoiding scammers. They have endless tricky ways of trying to separate us from our money or data. And they’re getting increasingly sophisticated. So it’s important to fight back.

To help seniors stay a step ahead, Netsafe in conjunction with Chorus, has released a new toolkit of free guides, videos, and other resources to help seniors become more scam savvy and to up their online safety smarts. This is particularly timely as essential services increasingly move online.

The guides offer practical advice on everything from basic online safety and security habits to safer online shopping, and socialising, as well as avoiding financial scams. There are also videos on things like two-factor authentication and staying safe on social media.

“The ability to identify scams and protection from financial fraud are key issues for seniors. However, we also know older adults want more support and information so they can fully enjoy the benefits of the digital world,” says Netsafe Chief Online Safety Officer Sean Lyons.

Get Set Up for Safety is designed to help seniors feel more comfortable and knowledgeable when they are online and to demystify the digital world for those who aren’t yet confident in the digital space, which is often due to concerns about safety and security.”

Lyons says that scams are a top concern for older adults, so part of the programme includes the introduction of a new, easy-to-remember acronym – SCAMS – to help people recognise the red flags.

Surprise: Are you surprised by the message, or that there’s a problem?

Control: Are they trying to rush you for a decision, or move you to a different online space?

Access: Are you being pressured for personal information and passwords?

Money: Are you being asked to pay for something online you’re not sure about or being asked to pay unusually, like with gift cards, or bitcoin?

Stop: Have you noticed red flags? Then STOP communicating with them and get support from your bank, Netsafe, and/or family.

The Get Set Up for Safety resources are available for free here. Printed pamphlets will also be available nationally over the coming months, including at public libraries, Citizens Advice Bureaus, Chorus community events, Digital Seniors hubs, and Age Concern regional offices.

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