Protect Your Residents from Rising Tech Support Scams

CAST | July 18, 2022 | by Donna Childress

Learn how to keep older adults from being targeted.

While helping residents learn how to use technology, senior living organizations can also help protect older adults from scams. A recent article in Forbes, “Boom In Tech Support Fraud Targets Older Adults,” outlines just how prevalent cyber fraud is among older adults.
Forbes shared findings from the 2021 Elder Fraud Report from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, noting that “people 60 and older were victims of internet fraud more often and lost more money than any other age group during the pandemic,” losing nearly $1.7 billion in 2021, a 74% increase over 2020.
In this age group, people were most likely to fall prey to tech support scams, which are rising substantially. Forbes also presented findings from the Federal Trade Commission that “adults over 60 are six times more likely than younger people to lose money to a tech support scam,” with nearly 14,000 older adults being defrauded in 2021.

How to Help

Start a tech concierge program. One way to protect older adults from this fraud is to offer and promote your own in-house tech support program. Your organization can both provide safe and credible tech support and educate residents on how to avoid scams. You will not be alone; check out June’s Tech Time article, “Popularity of Tech Concierges Grows,” to see how some providers are offering support.
Tap LeadingAge CAST resources. Review the LeadingAge CAST case study “Supporting Residents’ Technology through In-House Support Program” to see how a tech concierge can help residents adopt devices like Amazon Alexa and Apple Watch.
The Resident/Client Technology Support and Training White Paper and Guide from LeadingAge CAST offers detailed support, training, and business models for providing resident/client technology support.
Help residents learn to protect their health information. To further protect those you serve, check out the new “THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK” campaign. It includes a checklist to help older adults safeguard their health information. See the recent Tech Time article “New Checklist Helps Older Adults Protect Health Information” for more information.