Senior citizens are frequently targeted and there are new Facebook scams seniors should avoid.
There are two Facebook scams seniors should avoid to protect them from becoming victimized by online scammers. There are assumptions scammers make about their victims such as believing they are less experienced with social media and computers. They assume things that might alert someone else, could appear normal to others who may be their mark.
A common trick is the virus scam, where a phony Facebook friend shares an enticing article link that causes a virus alert to appear with a phone number to call and remove the also phony virus.
Helping Seniors Avoid Catfish on Facebook
People with different levels of experience with social media might be more susceptible to being targeted for scams. Consider a cousin or old friend you don’t hear from very often, there could be a fake Facebook account that looks just like them, but it is really someone else. The term “catfish” is commonly used to refer to someone on social media pretending to be another person.
Help teach seniors that Facebook scams seniors should avoid usually start with a friend request from someone they already friended on Facebook. Let them know that if something seems odd, ask someone they trust before accepting a suspicious friend request. Reassure them if it seems odd to get a friend request from someone they thought was already on their page, it could be a catfish up to no good.
Teaching Seniors About the Virus Scam
Seniors should learn to avoid catfish that scam seniors out of money. The phony Facebook account that looks like your friend or cousin will usually share a link in their feed as bait. When you click on what looks like a normal link from someone you know, the link either infects your computer with a virus, or it causes a loud flashing alert to appear on the screen.
The virus alert says that your computer files are in serious risk of damage and the whole computer system and anything connected to it will self-destruct, for example. When the targeted victim calls the phone number that appears on the screen, the person on the other end demands a large payment to get rid of the virus. It is a scam because there is NO ACTUAL VIRUS. All you need to do in most cases is restart the computer and everything is back to normal.
Ideally the victim of the scam will remember who shared the link they clicked on causing the scammer virus alert in the first place. It is also a good idea to teach seniors to click on the list of all their Facebook friends every now and then to see if there are two accounts for any one person, the signal of a catfish.
Joseph Wrobel, Ltd., is more than a bankruptcy firm. We are also a hub for positive consumer empowerment through sharing tips and information about financial success. If you or someone you know needs help, call us at (312) 781-0996 or Contact Us on our website. Joseph Wrobel wants everyone to be safe online and wants people to spread the word about Facebook scams seniors should avoid.