online scams, online predators, elderly online, children online, online fraud, cyber criminals, hacking, preying on children online

Fraudsters Using the Web to Prey on the Vulnerable

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” If you thought this was a line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth, you have been deceived.

It’s from the epic poem Marmion and was written by Sir Walter Scott, author of Ivanhoe.

Although Scott did not conceptualize the Web as it is today, the common thread is that it’s easy to be deceived on the Web which makes it a dangerous place especially for  the most vulnerable targets online, which are the elderly and children.

This article will help you be aware of the dangers on the Internet so you can protect your aging parents or grandparents and children.

Seniors online

The elderly are usually slower to learn how to use the Internet and they can easily become victims of Internet fraud.

Case in point, an Internet scam that targets the elderly offers them a low price on medical prescriptions. What the fraudster doesn’t reveal is that the drugs are counterfeit. Seniors spend money on drugs that, at best, don’t help their medical condition and at worse, could greatly harm them.

The elderly are also more inclined to click on pop-ups, such as ones informing them that they need to upgrade their anti-virus protection software. The fraudsters walk away with the victims’ money and often download a malicious virus so they can hack into the victim’s computer and wreak all kinds of havoc, from identity fraud to credit card theft.

All too often seniors are the target of phishing scams where they receive an email that may appear to be from a reputable company or individual asking them to verify personal and financial information only to become the unsuspecting victims of Internet fraud.

This checklist contains advice that can protect the elderly in your life while online.

Children online

Children are also at risk because of their underdeveloped ability to identify the dangers of going online.

The scariest online scenario involves predators, often posing as young people. They typically use information discovered about the child online to establish a relationship with them so they can lure them offline.

This parent’s worst nightmare is all too common. One in five children using computer chat rooms are targeted by sexual predators.

Use this predator tip sheet to protect your children from pedophiles online.

In a future post, I will discuss how you can effectively use passwords to stay safe online, so stay tuned.

Photo Source: Flickr

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