Holiday shopping looks different in 2020; many people are looking for ways to avoid potential virus exposure in stores. It’s no surprise that online shopping is booming right now, providing consumers a way to find gifts without the exposure of in-person shopping experiences.
While there are many reputable merchants to choose from online, the risk goes up of being scammed. One mistake with an online purchase can result in monetary loss and identity theft. Experian published a survey showing that 43% of identity theft victims were targeted while shopping online during the holiday season.
Unfortunately, the risk goes up for seniors who aren’t familiar with the online industry. Scammers often target older shoppers because they are easier to trick.
Protecting Loved Ones from Financial Fraud During the Holidays
Not only do you need to be proactive in protecting your household from financial fraud, you also need to be diligent in helping senior family members shop safely online. Here are a few tips to share:
- Use Official Websites: Don’t buy from a brand or store that you don’t know. Sticking with reputable retailers reduces the risk of malware and malicious software. Sometimes, hackers try to mimic these retailers using fake email addresses and websites that look similar.
- Always go to the desired website directly instead of clicking through a link in an email or social media post.
- Secure Shipping: “Porch pirates” are a risk when many deliveries are happening during the holidays. Make sure your loved ones have a safe place where they can deliver their packages. For example, you might invite them to ship their orders to your office. Or, use shipping lockers through FedEx, Amazon, or UPS.
- Install Computer Protection: Make sure your family member has adequate security on their computer or smartphone. Antivirus tools are essential for stopping a potential hack. A few minutes of setup can go a long way to protect the person’s information.
Avoiding Fraud and Elder Abuse
At Senior Safe and Sound, we share information to inform families about potential risks associated with fraud and elder abuse. If you need support or help, contact us any time at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.