By Robyn Gruner, AT&T Wisconsin director of external affairs
In today’s hyperconnected world, it can be difficult to decipher what’s real or fake on the internet. Unfortunately, elder fraud is becoming increasingly common, so it is essential for everyone to be aware of the risks associated with the online world and to be responsible digital citizens.
Scams can take the form of phone calls, emails, texts or social media posts. Scammers often pose as official government agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, IRS or a well-known celebrity or public figure. Their goal is the same: To trick people into giving them money.
If you are targeted by a scam — such as the IRS claiming you owe it money — it is important not to engage with the caller. Hang up the phone. If it’s an email, delete it and don’t click any links.
To best protect yourself from scams, know the warning signs:
- Always be skeptical. Question the caller and keep your cool.
- Are they asking for immediate action? Asking for immediate action is a typical bad guy technique to scare you or confuse you into doing what they want.
- Are there spelling errors? If you spot an error, keep your guard up!
- Are they requesting personal information? Be skeptical and don’t give information if they email, phone or text you to ask for bank account information, credit card numbers, your Social Security number or any other sensitive personal information.
For individuals interested in online safety, AT&T has provided the Goodman Community Center with a $25,000 contribution that will help facilitate digital literacy workshops and provide older adult meals.
AT&T has additional resources available here.
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