OIder people more likely to be scammed

A new study has found older people are more at risk of falling victim to online dating and computer support fraud schemes.

Older people are more likely to be ripped off in online scams, a new study confirms.

The Australian Institute of Criminology survey found those aged 45-55 were more likely to be victimised by dating and romance frauds while those aged 65 and over were more likely to be scammed by computer support fraud schemes.

Those over 65 were significantly more likely to send money as a result of a fraudulent invitation.

The study cites the story of Paul, 72, who used an online dating website following the death of his wife, starting a relationship with a woman named Selina from Ghana. In all, he paid out more than $200,000.

Using data from online surveys of fraud conducted in 2011 and 2012, the AIC examined the experience of 2695 respondents.

Almost three quarters of scam approaches came via email, though approaches also came by traditional mail, mobile and landline phone and SMS.

Of the 51 who admitted falling victim to work from home fraud, almost a third were aged 45-54 while 32 were aged 45 or over.

Dating fraud claimed 49 victims, 22 aged 45-54 and 36 over 45. The AIC said that may indicate factors such as divorce, a desire to settle down or loneliness.

Computer support fraud - where scammers claim the person's computer is infected and require payment for repairs - claimed 49 victims, with 19 aged over 65.

"Targeted, age-specific awareness raising campaigns may be an effective means of reducing the risk of consumer fraud," the study said.

The study found those over 65 were less likely to divulge personal details than those aged under 24 who revealed personal information at higher than expected rates.

Source: AAP

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