BC program helps seniors avoid scams

Nicolette BarbasHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Brunswick CRC coordinator Josephine Dalton teaches Merrilee Fry, Mike Kelly and Macca Mcauliffe the importance of online safety.
Camera IconBrunswick CRC coordinator Josephine Dalton teaches Merrilee Fry, Mike Kelly and Macca Mcauliffe the importance of online safety. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

It has been a successful trick for centuries; duping people into cooperating with their demands for financial gain.

“I am calling from Telstra, you have a problem with your internet.”

We all know the classic one-liners, so why are the older generation still falling for them?

An 81-year-old man from Perth was recently the victim of a $37,000 scam when he granted an NBN poser access to his computer and bank account.

The Perth senior connected to the NBN the day before he received what he believed to have been a genuine call where he was fooled into believing he had infected files on his computer.

Scammers kept the 81-year-old man on his landline for most of the day and convinced him to turn off his mobile phone while successfully making three withdrawals from his bank account.

The concerned senior phoned a family member from a friend’s home who then confirmed it was scam.

“Seniors are quite trusting, which makes them an easy target for scammers,” Brunswick Community Resource Centre coordinator Jo Dalton said.

Brunswick CRC runs a program aimed at increasing the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians using digital technology so they can avoid being faced with situations like this.

The Be Connected program launched on October 2017 and has since delivered a range of informative classes designed to support and educate seniors with the online world.

“When it comes to technology, the majority of the seniors that attend these sessions are quite hesitant and not confident at all,” Ms Dalton said. “It is very foreign to them and can seem quite scary, and scammers can use that fear to their advantage.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails