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October 25, 2023

Subject Line: How To Avoid Email Scams. Important Information for Seniors!

Category: Senior Living

Author: Rich Richmond

Email attacks are more than commonplace these days; they are an unfortunate way of life for those who use email and the internet. Predators and scammers have honed their digital skills, bringing carefully crafted scams into the digital age. While telephone scams still threaten seniors, email allows for broader, more sophisticated attacks. 

Statistics show that over 90% of security breaches originate in emails. Sadly, almost all of them rely on humans to execute them. This approach to hacking is called Social Engineering. The goal is to trick you into clicking malicious links or visiting malicious websites so they can steal your information, passwords, account numbers, and social security numbers.


It is essential to arm yourself with a basic vocabulary of terms to help you understand the types of internet-based attacks and scams you may encounter.

  • Malware -‘Malware’ is a portmanteau for malicious software. It describes any rogue software unintentionally installed on your computer designed to cause intentional harm to your computer and includes such categories as viruses, ransomware, spyware, adware, and Trojan horses.
  • Computer virus- A computer virus is a specific type of digital malware that, upon execution, replicates itself and inserts harmful code into your computer’s software, ‘infecting’ it. Computer viruses can cause a range of damage to your PC, from slowing it down to corrupting or deleting your files.
  • Phishing—Phishing is a specific type of cybercrime that attempts to lure an individual into providing particular personally identifying information, such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords, to gain access to their accounts. Often, these types of scams are presented as legitimate emails from legitimate businesses or organizations you may do business with. 
  • Cybercrime or cyber scam- A cybercrime or cyber scam is a broad term for any malicious attack performed digitally. These may come in as emails, text messages, or phone calls. 

Here Are Five Smart Things You Can Do To Recognize And Avoid These Online Attacks.

  1. If you receive an email or text from someone you don’t know asking for personal information like banking numbers, passwords, etc., ignore it and report it to the institution. 
  2. If you receive an email with a bill or invoice you don’t recognize, don’t pay for it. It’s likely fake.
  3. If you receive an email that asks you for your username or password or tells you they are about to expire, do not respond. No reputable source will ever ask you for your password… EVER.
  4. Suppose they offer you anything for free. It’s not. Don’t believe it. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  5. They claim there is a problem with your account. It will expire unless you act now. BEWARE of calls for urgency!

These bad actors are getting good at tricking us! It is essential to protect yourself against these assaults. And your best protection is knowledge and vigilance. 

A close-up of an elderly couple looking at a laptop. A man wearing a yellow polo is pointing at the laptop screen and the woman wearing a white button-down is hovering over the man looking at the screen as well. Traditions Logo in the top right corner.

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