The last decade has seen a huge shift in the way technology influences day-to-day life. Although these technological advances are designed to make our lives easier, there’s still a generation - who remember life before the internet – that feel unsafe and left behind.
Our recent Real Retirement Report1 unveils a growing tech-savvy generation, but there’s still people over 45 who worry about the risks of going online. More than a million people over 45 have been a victim of an online scam, and more than three quarters of retirees over 75 have been targeted by email scams – leaving them feeling vulnerable.
For those who feel worried or anxious about being scammed, we’ve put together this handy guide featuring common online scams, examples of what they might look like and tips for avoiding them2.
Scammers may pose as a well-known company or brand through a website, online service or email, to convince users to hand over their personal details or money. Posing as a brand or company the user trusts means they’re more likely to put in those details. Once acquired, the scammers may use them to steal the user’s identity or withdraw money and disappear.
Types of scams include:
How to avoid phishing scams
This scam comes in the form of an email or online advert, suggesting the user has won a large sum of cash, goods or services; but will usually request a fee, taxes or donations (to collect winnings). The fraudster may pose as someone trying to sell goods using aggressive marketing techniques. Types of scams include charity donations and lottery prizes.
How to avoid mass market fraud
Since April 2015, retirees have been given more control over how they withdraw and when they receive their pensions3. The new pension options give people flexibility as to how they access their pension funds, such as a drawdown, annuity or even just cashing out the pot. Unfortunately, this means future and current retirees are being targeted for their savings.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) unveiled last year that victims lost an average of £32,000 when being scammed through a financial product. The FCA also revealed that one in eight (14%) spend little or no time researching investment products before handing over money.
For those who’re planning or coming close to retirement, it’s important to keep pension pots and savings safe. Here’s a few tips for avoiding the worst-case scenario:
Being constantly connected to the internet has become the norm, so it’s important all users are confident with the tools and applications they use. Our retirement report highlighted the biggest concern for the older user is being hacked or involved in a scam or fraudulent activity. In a time of financial difficulty, seeing cheap clothes or ‘winning’ a cash prize is often too good to be true.
More retirees are getting connected through social media everyday. We looked into this trend and how it can be beneficial to our health.
Use our handy tools and calculators to help you plan for your future.
Puzzled by pensions? Get the lowdown on everything you need to know.
Already have a pension with Aviva? Monitor it online at the touch of a button with MyAviva.