In the financial year of 2018-2019, cyber criminals embezzled over £4m from the older generations – revealed by the charity, Age UK.
A freedom of Information (FOI) request showed that the police received around 4,173 reports of cybercrime from adults aged over 55 during April 2018 to March 2019. Over £4m was lost from those who sadly fell victim to online fraudulent activity.
Some prominent examples of these crimes include investment fraud, identity theft, fraudulent adverts, blackmail and phishing.
Disturbingly, there are no signs of it stopping either.
The FOI revealed that this age group have been massively targeted by COVID-19 related frauds. Of the 3,162 cases of COVID-related reports, 701 of them involved victims aged over 55. The total losses have totaled to £2.4 million in the past four months.
It seems that the most popular form of COVID scams included the option to buy fake PPE equipment and phishing texts claiming to be from the government and other health bodies.
Age UK reported that cyber criminals have taken full advantage of the fact that older generations have had to rely on the internet throughout lockdown. For many, lockdown was the first time they had used the internet, making them already vulnerable.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, commented: “During lockdown, the majority of us relied on the internet to stay connected and we know that some older people were also encouraged to go online for the first time. That is hopefully something they have enjoyed and benefited from and will want to continue now lockdown is being eased. However, unfortunately we also know that cyber criminals were very active in exploiting the situation, seeking to con older people out of their hard-earned cash.
“Online crime is often highly sophisticated and tough to spot so anyone can be taken in, but if you are new to the internet and learned to use it in a rush, with little support, you are potentially more vulnerable to being caught out.”
Make sure you and your loved ones are fully protected from these potential events happening. If you’d like more information surrounding cyber crimes and cyber cover, get in touch.