Voice phishing, more commonly known as ‘vishing’, is a rising threat in the digital age, especially amongst the elderly. Our seniors are becoming prime targets due to their unique vulnerabilities.
Vishing scammers are adept at manipulating their victims, and the elderly, often more trusting and unfamiliar with the digital world, fall prey to such fraudulent activities. It is essential to empower our seniors with the knowledge and tools to safeguard themselves against these insidious scams. This essential guide aims to equip families with actionable steps to educate and protect their elderly loved ones from the malicious snares of vishing scams.
Recognising the threat
The first step towards protection is awareness. Help your elderly loved ones understand what vishing is and how it manifests. Vishing often involves fraudsters posing as bank representatives or government officials, coercing or manipulating the elderly into revealing sensitive information over the phone.
Actionable steps for protection against vishing
Educating the elderly about voice phishing scams, or ‘vishing’, is essential to safeguard them from potential fraud. Here are some effective ways to educate the elderly on this matter:
Education is the cornerstone of prevention. Ensuring that our elderly loved ones are well-informed about the various tactics employed by vishers is crucial. Frequent and open conversations should be encouraged, fostering an environment where they feel comfortable discussing phone interactions without judgement. This allows for identifying any unusual or suspicious calls they might have received.
- Regular discussions: Regularly discuss their telephone interactions, gently asking if they’ve encountered any strange or unexpected calls.
- Sharing information: Share up-to-date information about the latest vishing scams and the common tactics fraudsters employ, such as pretending to be government officials, bank representatives, or tech support agents.
Verification is a critical step in ensuring that the person on the other end of the line is genuine.
- Caller verification: Teach them to ask questions to help verify the caller’s identity. Inform them that it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for verification, and legitimate callers will not mind.
- Double-check: Encourage them to double-check by calling back on official phone numbers found on the respective organisation’s official website or documents rather than using the number provided by the caller.
Security measures on their phones can be the first defence against vishing attempts.
- Caller ID: Utilise caller ID features to identify who is calling. Inform them to be wary of unknown or hidden numbers.
- Call-blocking: Enable call-blocking features on their phones to prevent calls from suspicious or unknown numbers, thus reducing the risk of falling prey to a vishing scam.
Reporting suspicious activities helps authorities in tracking down these malicious actors, and it also helps in raising awareness within the community.
- Encouragement: Encourage them to report suspicious calls to the local authorities or the appropriate organisations. Make sure they know the correct procedure and whom to contact.
- Community awareness: Reporting also aids in community awareness. It allows others to be vigilant and look for similar suspicious activities, fostering a protective community environment.
Combat scams with the necessary tools
Equip your family and elderly loved ones with the necessary tools to combat vishing. Regular updates about the latest scams and continuous education about safe practices are vital. Promote a culture of open communication where they feel comfortable sharing their experiences and concerns.
Safeguard the elderly in your community with FraudWatch International
Empowering the elderly against vishing scams is our collective responsibility. As a business, aligning with dedicated partners like FraudWatch enhances your ability to shield the vulnerable from such malicious attacks.
Don’t wait for a scam to affect your community. Contact FraudWatch today, fortifying your defence against vishing and safeguarding our elderly. We offer specialised services to combat vishing. Together, we can create a secure environment that prioritises the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable members.