Helping seniors become scam-savvy

Consumer Affairs Victoria is emphasising the importance of older Victorians being safe online.  “If in doubt, don’t” is the agency’s slogan, and it’s ringing true for many seniors who are learning what the online world has to offer.

One of the fastest growing online user groups in Australia is older Victorians.  They are enjoying using the internet to keep in touch with their family and friends, view catch-up TV, research travel destinations and more.

Unfortunately, many are also attractive targets for scammers because of the assumption that they have substantial assets and have access to their superannuation and savings.  People experiencing financial hardship or recovering from illness, trauma or loss were also found to be more vulnerable to scams.

It’s important to know that it’s nothing to be ashamed about if you fall victim to a scam. Scammers are becoming smarter and smarter as they start to use more sophisticated tricks to scam thousands of Victorians every year out of their hard-earned money. These professional criminals will stop at nothing, and with advances in technology they can approach you on more platforms online.

In a bid to reduce the number of scam victims, Consumer Affairs is working towards creating greater awareness and further understanding of online scams among older Victorians. Through this the agency believes it will make a difference.

Its best tips for staying safe online include not opening suspicious text messages, emails or pop windows. Users should also be wary of any emails or requests on social media from people they do not know. Above all, never send money or personal or financial details to someone you have never met in person, especially if you are online dating.

Do you think you’re scam savvy? Take a quiz to test your knowledge at

For more information on the most common scams and how to spot, avoid or report them, you can visit