Help to keep ‘silver surfers’ safe online

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Angus’ growing legions of ‘silver surfers’ are being warned to be vigilant as cyber criminals look to prey on unsuspecting victims with increasingly cunning online scams.

With the numbers of older people using the web and discovering social media channels growing daily, fears are being raised they are becoming the prime targets for internet scammers.

The tricksters are continually concocting scams to fool unsuspecting web users with many of the cons taking place without the victim being aware, ranging from social networking and financial scams to those relating to online employment or auctions.

One smartphone/web-based App set up to highlight the explosion of online scams lists more than 600 different online cons.

The latest warning comes from the Scottish Business Crime Centre (SBCC), as part of a new campaign it is fronting to raise awareness of various issues that can place older people at risk of financial harm.

One of the most prominent online scams is ransomware; a category of malicious software which, when run, disables the functionality of a computer in some way. The ransomware program displays a pop-up message demanding payment to restore functionality.

These pop-ups use the logos of recognised UK forces, including Action Fraud so victims are easily fooled by this con. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid this pop-up.

A booklet containing information and advice on a variety of scams has been created and produced by The Metropolitan Police Service’s Operation Sterling Team and is available to download for free by visiting http://www.sbcc.org.uk/media/84031/little_book_of_big_scams.pdf

Scam Detector is a smart phone and web-based app available to download for free which exposes more than 600 of the world’s most fraudulent scams: http://scam-detector.com/

More information about the Scottish Business Crime Centre and how to become a member can be found at www.sbcc.org.uk.