Transforming people from discouraged to empowered
This week, national Data Privacy Week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed on KTRS’s In the Know with Ray Hartmann. When Ray asked me if it was true that older adults are more frequently victimized by cybercriminals I told him, that, well, it’s complicated.
Each year in the United State, millions of older adults become victims of frauds and scams. Statistics from the FTC and the FBI state cybercrime victimizing older seniors have increased five times since 2014 totaling more than $650 million in losses per year.
Improvements in technology have enabled criminals to make their messages appear so realistic that it is increasingly challenging to sort credible messages from fraudulent messages. This means that cybercriminals are able to target far more people in one day. Simultaneously, more people, older adults included, have adopted mobile technologies and social media channels. This provides more avenues for criminals to find victims.
Older adults, compared to people in other age groups, have the added ‘bonus’ of having more assets that can be accessed by cybercriminals. Financial losses sustained by older consumers are staggering and often create uncomfortable and unpleasant situations for those victimized and their families. It is vitally important for people to feel a sense of agency and create an action plan for the next time a fraudulent phone call, text message, email or other notification arrives.
It can be easy to feel downright discouraged when you consider the information shared above. Learning personal security awareness and choosing to embrace ‘cyber resilience’ is the empowered stance the Oasis team strives to provide for participants nationwide.
Oasis Connections security awareness classes help adult learners prepare for the tactics these criminals are using and stay a step ahead of the scams. The classes share ‘how-tos’ and ‘what ifs’ to help demystify how criminals attempt to entrap victims and what people can do to elude scams and frauds.