Silver Surfers targeted by online scammers: McAfee

One in five over 50 hit by online frauds and scamsters

New research suggests that Silver Surfers are very vulnerable online and may need more education to ensure they don't fall victim to classic frauds and scamsters.

McAfee's latest research, the Silver Surfers Survey, shows that nearly one in five Australian Internet users over the age of 50 have fallen prey to online fraud, including stolen credit card and bank details, email scams and other online purchasing scams.

This highlights the need for education when using internet, especially amongst older demographics who haven't grown up around these kinds of scams. On average, McAfee's research showed that this demographic was also far more likely to talk to strangers online - one in four on average.

McAfee's A/NZ managing director, Keith Buckley, said much of the focus about being safe online tends to be pointed at teenagers, with the older demographics getting relatively little attention.

“We know from our research on teens and tweens that these two age groups are at a high risk due to their fast adoption of technologies, but now we’re seeing the same trend with our older Australians and their internet behaviour, so cyber education at any age is critical," he said.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of these scams tend to be focused around love/romance scams, and the classic Nigerian scams, Detective Superintendent Brian Hay said.

“Over 90 per cent of the millions of dollars of fraud money going to West African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana every month is from love scams. We also see older Australians getting caught up in lottery scams and much of this money goes to the US and Canada. Of particular, concern is identity theft."

Read more: Federal Justice Minister launches national identity theft support service

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Tags identity theftonline fraudNigerian scamSilver surfersCredit card fraudpoliceKeith BuckleyBrian Haybank fraudmcafeeOnline scam

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