Last year, the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received more than 467,000 cybercrime complaints which equated to an estimated US$3.5 billion in losses, according to the Bureau’s annual 2019 Internet Crime Report (IC3). The FBI also reported that cybercrime losses have tripled over the last 5 years.
Those numbers are pretty scary. But do you know what’s even scarier? The fact that seniors are often the targets of online scams. Watch out of these online scams, especially when you’re a senior:
1. The 419
The 419 also known as the “Nigerian Scam,” is actually one of the most common scams on the Internet. As a matter of fact, you may have already seen this type of scam in your own inbox without knowing it.
According to the FBI, this illegal scheme which is named after the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code that outlaws fraud, drew $12.7 billion into the pockets of swindlers between 2013 and 2018.
In general, the fraudster claims to be a reputable member of a wealthy Nigerian family, reaching out to you just after the death of a loved one. The scammer actually seeks to relocate a big fortune out of the country for safekeeping reasons into your bank account.
Okay, but where’s the catch? You must submit small payments for fees in return for a big chunk of their cash cache. Do not respond to these requests and never ever tell your bank details. Also, any suspicious email should be sent to the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service or the Federal Trade Commission.