old person using computer

The elderly most at risk from cyber-crime, report warns

The elderly are increasingly at risk of cyber fraud, with more than a million older people duped by email scammers in the UK, a report has warned.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of over-45s with internet access said they had been targeted by an email scam and of these, 6 per cent said they had fallen for the trap, according to a survey by insurance provider Aviva.

Older users are most at risk with 8 per cent of the over-75s targeted saying they were a victim, the Real Retirement report found.

Around a quarter of the age group said technology had made them feel vulnerable although most users conceded that technology had changed their lives.

Three-quarters of over-45s said technology had made an overall positive impact and two-thirds said it had helped them with their day-to-day finances - the most common benefit reported.

The survey found more people had been contacted by scammers through email (73 per cent) than by phone (60 per cent).

Rodney Prezeau, managing director of consumer platform at Aviva UK Life, urged action to protect older internet users.

He said: “The Government is rightly taking action to combat the threat of pension cold-callers in later life, but it is important we don’t forget the additional threats that exist in the digital age.”

He added: “As we move pensions out of the Stone Age and make increasing use of online tools, it is vital we ensure that consumers are fully safeguarded and supported so more people are encouraged to engage with their savings.”

A Government consultation is currently under way on a cold-calling ban to “cut off a key source of pension scams”.

Last month, the group of cybercriminals behind the CryptXXX malware offered affected computer users a 50 per cent discount to decrypt their data in honour of Christmas. 

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