Cybercrimes Involving the Elderly

January 29, 2020

People who have reached retirement age, having worked most of their lives and earned the opportunity to enjoy their golden years, should be able to breathe easy knowing that a lifetime of preparation has paid off and ensured that their remaining years are financially secure. Unfortunately, all that hard work and preparation can be undone by a criminal seeking to cash in on the carefully planned nest egg.

Seniors are often the victims of cybercrimes, which are crimes that occur over the internet or by using a computer. Such crimes include hacking, phishing, fraud, identity theft, and monetary theft. Seniors are often targeted for these types of crimes due to common assumptions that older individuals are less tech savvy and more trusting than other segments of the population. Particularly vulnerable are those who suffer from common types of cognitive decline often associated with aging. The possibility of a hefty retirement account makes this pool of potential victims especially attractive to criminals looking for a big score.

Costs of Cybercrimes

More than 62,000 fraud complaints by those aged 60 and over were reported in 2018, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center 2018 Internet Crime Report. The report indicated that the losses came to an annual total of nearly $650 million.

Much of the same advice given to seniors applies across the board, as people of all ages have the potential to be tricked by cyber criminals’ deceptions. It is worth noting, however, that the potential for this type of abuse becomes greater with age. The following are a few ways to protect yourself from cybercrime:

  • Guard your personal information: Never give out your personal or financial information to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • Be wary of unsolicited communications: Never give personal information to someone who contacted you randomly.
  • Be cautious of new friends: Online dating sites are a common tool criminals use to access potential victims, often posing as a love interest only to use that trust to steal by asking for help or seeking financial information.
  • Keep track of your finances: Check monthly statements for anything unusual.
  • Do not sign anything: Have a lawyer or someone else you trust look over any documents before you sign.
  • Be alert to scams: Reports of suspicious lottery, sweepstakes, or contest winnings may be too good to be true.
  • Be suspicious of misrepresentations: The person contacting you may claim to be a representative from the government or your bank. It is best to verify this before sharing anything.

Brooklyn Elder Law Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Assist Elderly Victims Affected by Cybercrimes

Older victims of fraud need someone on their side to set things right. If you were targeted by a cybercriminal and you suffered financial losses, the Brooklyn elder law lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP can help you receive the justice you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 212-495-8133 for an initial consultation. With locations in Brooklyn, New York, and Lakewood, New Jersey, we assist clients throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York.