Computer Use Among Senior Citizens Increasing, BBB Warns Them of Risks


Senior citizens continue to embrace the digital age in greater numbers every year.

Currently, 53 percent of adults ages 65 and older are now using the Internet and online tools such as email, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Seventy percent of those users report going online daily.

The Internet can offer many benefits to older generations, but it also comes with some risks. Many scammers target senior citizens with the schemes which is why the Better Business Bureau is offering tips to help older Americans avoid falling into an online trap.

Typical scams targeting this demographic include emails, websites and social media messages that offer "free" gifts, prizes or vacations that exclaim "You're a winner!"; offer discount prescription medications or other "can't miss" deals; or messages that set ultimatums, such as "your account will be closed" or "the deal will expire".

The BBB is also reminding individuals to be on the lookout for messages that appear to be from a family or friend, but aren't in a style they normally use or contain numerous misspellings or other oddities.

Another extremely common scam targeting senior citizens is communications that appear to be from an official government agency requesting personal information.

The BBB recommends calling them at 1.800.649.6814 before sharing any personal information over the Internet if you have doubts about the validity of the request.

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