Online Safety
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This May we observed National Senior Fraud Awareness Day (NSFAD), an event which has never been more important. Senior citizens have become the primary target for scammers in recent years, something that NSFAD hopes to make clear to all Americans. Judge William Webster, a man who in his career has served as Director to both the FBI and CIA, recently fell victim to fraud. This serves as a sober reminder to Americans that anyone, no matter how qualified or intelligent, can fall victim to scams. In his case, the former Director’s bank spotted the discrepancy and alerted him to the issue before any money was lost.
The importance of remaining vigilant 

Unfortunately, while many banks are stepping up their efforts, for millions of senior Americans the story is very different. JudgeWilliam and his wife are now campaigning to raise awareness, letting Americans know that if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone. Grandparent and romance scams are among the most common targeting seniors. Here someone calls or emails pretending to be a relative or romantic interest seeking money. It is important to remain vigilant, never accept calls from strangers and never click links from unknown sources online.

All bark and no bite

Unfortunately some scammers may not give up even if you recognize the scam and put down the phone. In these instances the scammer may try to threaten the victim or their loved ones with fines, imprisonment or even violence. In these instances it is crucial not to panic. Remember that these people have no ability to follow through with their threats and rather than give in to their demands, call the authorities. In the case of Judge William Webster, fraudsters threatened to harm both him and his wife. You can be sure that if these people feel they can threaten the former Director of the CIA they have absolutely no idea who is on the other end of the phone! So keep this in mind if you find yourself on the receiving end of these threats. Put the phone down and contact the authorities as soon as possible.

The connected world is becoming increasingly dangerous for senior citizens who have now become a big target for fraudsters. If you feel you may have been the victim of a scam, help is available. Contact the authorities as soon as possible and make a report because the sooner you do so, the more likely you are to get your money back.