Elderly Hickman man falls for computer security scam
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office believes an elderly man was scammed out of thousands of dollars following an online pop-up scam.
According to Chief Deputy Ben Houchin, on Friday deputies learned that an 81-year-old Hickman man received an email that his Norton computer security had expired.
Investigators were told that the man called the number in the email where he allowed the scammer access to his computer.
Chief Houchin said the scammer transferred money from one account from First State Bank to his checking account.
From there, Chief Houchin explained, that the scammer kept talking to the man and convinced him to transfer $50,000 to Singapore.
According to deputies, the bank allowed the transaction to go through but it was then flagged. Chief Houchin said it’s not clear if the man has lost money just yet.
Helping older adults from getting scammed
The BBB suggests loved ones become familiar with common scams and the most common tactics used to target older adults, that way you can spot scams before they happen.
- Think before you click. Older adult may be less comfortable with technology making them more vulnerable to phishing schemes and hacking. Links found in unsolicited emails or messages on social media can be especially dangerous. Protect yourself by only clicking on links that come from people you know and trust and by keeping your antivirus software up to date.
- Strange phone call? Might be an emergency scam: Older adults can be susceptible to emergency scams and other ploys because they aren’t familiar with the information about themselves and their family available online. This trick begins with a phone call from someone posing as a grandchild, niece or nephew, or other young family member. Scammers research victims using social media and often know family names, travel plans and other details. The phony grandchild will claim to be out of town and in an emergency situation – anything from a car accident to wrongful arrest. The scam artist will urge you to send money ASAP and to not tell Mom or Dad.
- Be on guard for “sweetheart” swindles. Older adults who are widowed or divorced are frequent targets of romance scams. If you meet someone online who shows romantic interest in you, don’t be too quick to trust them. These scams can often take months to develop to the point where money changes hands. Con artists create compelling backstories, and full-fledged identities, then trick you into falling for someone who doesn’t even exist. A common romance scam involves charming the victim and then asking for money for medical expenses, family concerns, or other reasons that pull at the heartstrings. Once the con artist receives the funds, they disappear for good.
The BBB suggests older adults reaching out to someone you trust for advice before sending money or following a con artist’s directions, take time to research your purchases, and never share your personal information with a stranger over the phone, in an email, or on social media.
Copyright 2023 KOLN. All rights reserved.