Safeguarding older and vulnerable individuals from scams

Australians have lost $430 million to scams already in 2023, and as Christmas approaches, we can expect another spike in scam activities.

Here’s our top tips to combat scams.

Tip 1: Safeguarding older and vulnerable individuals

Equipping ourselves and our loved ones with the knowledge needed to fend off scams is crucial.

In this digital age, scams can affect anyone, regardless of age or technological know-how. However, older, and more vulnerable individuals tend to fall prey to scams more often.

In 2023, Australians over 65 have lost more than $108 million to scams and represented one in four of all scam reports. 

To combat scams effectively, it’s important to educate those at higher risk of becoming a victim. Sharing our knowledge, experiences, and staying vigilant empowers them to recognise and respond to potential threats.

Here are a few suggestions on how we can play a vital role in protecting our loved ones:

Initiate conversations

Be a trusted, non-judgmental resource available at any hour of the day. Engage in open discussions with older family members, friends, and acquaintances about the potential dangers lurking online. Encourage them to ask questions and share their concerns.

Teach them to identify red flags

Educate older individuals about common scam warning signs such as unsolicited calls, suspicious emails, requests for personal information, or high-pressure sales tactics. Equipping them with this knowledge improves their confidence in navigating scam scenarios.

Encourage scepticism

Encourage healthy scepticism and a “trust but verify” approach when encountering unknown or unfamiliar entities. Remind them to independently verify the legitimacy of offers, requests, or investments before committing to any action.

If it doesn’t feel right, JUST HANG UP!

Phone scams result in more monetary loss than any other method. If someone on the phone is making them uncomfortable or is moving too fast, they can always hang up! Scammers feed on people’s politeness. It’s better to risk offending someone than to risk a scammer taking all of your hard-earned money.

We encourage you to share with your vulnerable loved ones so that we can all be protected.

Let’s work together to ensure we’re all protected from the harms of scams. By extending our helping hands, we can make a significant impact in their lives and collectively build a stronger and safer community.

For additional information on supporting scam victims, visit the Scamwatch website:

Read more scam-busting tips:

Protecting your digital identity