ATLANTA — Sunday is Grandparents Day, and one Emory Alum is working to help protect that generation as technology advances.
Older adults are the number one most targeted group for online scams. The FBI said $3 billion in cyber fraud affected seniors in 2022 – the average loss is more than $17,000 per victim.
As more seniors start working with technology, tech expert and Emory alum Ryan Greene said younger people have to fill the gap to protect the seniors in our lives.
“I’m there for my grandfather, but there are so many older adults that do not have that support system,” Green said.
This is why he built Quincy, a tech support website for any device and software. The company matches paying customers with a live person to help assist with daily tech questions.
“It starts with technology comfort,” Greene said. “When you know who to call in a moment of need and you have those systems in place, it unlocks the best of the internet.”
In June, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned older generations that fraud was on the rise, noting that in Georgia, a sixth of the population is 65 years old or older, according to Census Bureau data.
Here are some simple steps young people can take to support older generations and help protect them from online fraud:
- Remind them not to over-share on social media. Help educate them that online fraudsters can use the names of pets or grandchildren to guess passwords or sound convincing in a message.
- Help them put their social media privacy settings only open to friends and family.
- Help them get organized. Get all their online usernames into one secure location.
- Remind them never to click on links from people you don’t know.
Top three schemes, according to the FBI
Romance scam: Fraudsters pose as interested romantic partners on social media or dating websites and prey on lonely people.
Tech support scam: Schemers pretend to be technical support representatives and offer to fix a non-existent computer or phone issue. The schemers get remote access to the victims’ devices and sensitive information.
Grandparent scam: Scammers pose as a relative, usually a child or grandchild, claiming to be in immediate financial need.
How to report a scam
If you believe you or someone you know may have been a victim of elder fraud, contact your local FBI field office or submit a tip online. You can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.
When reporting a scam—regardless of dollar amount—include as many of the following details as possible:
- Names of the scammer and/or company
- Dates of contact
- Methods of communication
- Phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, and websites used by the perpetrator
- Methods of payment
- Where you sent funds, including wire transfers and prepaid cards (provide financial institution names, account names, and account numbers)
- Descriptions of your interactions with the scammer and the instructions you were given