There is a general misconception that seniors have lots of cash and cannot handle technology to keep it safe. They are, therefore, seen as easy prey by the scamsters/cheats/fraudsters. The worst part is that the seniors themselves hold a similar opinion about themselves on this subject. This gives rise to anxiety and fear in them when they have to handle money for daily usage through the common processes provided by technology. This fear then keeps them away. The ease and convenience that these processes provide are worth the effort of understanding the issue.
The common method of handling money without cash is through credit and debit cards. UPI payments are also now used by almost everyone. The risks involved and the simple precautions to be taken by seniors while using these two methods are listed below. There is nothing new in the tips being given. Safety will arise only if one follows the steps suggested. These steps are easy and enumerated here to ensure that one is aware of the risks and how to avoid them.
To use these cards one has to create a four digit or in some cases a six digit PIN in conjunction with the bank. So now we have two items – a card that is physical and a PIN code that is mental. You need to have both to be able to transact. All you have to do is to ensure that these two items remain separate and do not join.
Here comes the tricky part for the seniors. PIN code has to be remembered. Also, it needs to be changed regularly. This complicates the issue as memory is not a strong point of seniors. Simple solution is to write it down in a diary or any electronic device. Amend it whenever you change the PIN. This act of writing the PIN makes the PIN also a physical entity. Keep it away from your cards. Don’t let these two get together and safety is yours.
Scamsters have devised methods by which the card can be cloned. For this they have to get hold of the card physically. Ensure that the card is never away from your hand. You insert it in the machine yourself and then enter your PIN code. While tapping in the PIN ensure that your fingers are covered by the other hand so that none can see the numbers you are entering.
These basic precautions will ensure that you get the benefit of the technology without compromising the safety of your money.
This has become the de facto method of making payments and is currently the favourite of small and big traders alike as it does away with the need to have change, carry cash and even calculations. While it is a safe way to transact, hackers may enter your account and drain it away. Here the safety lies in using the wallet method wherein you keep only a minimum balance in the wallet or the relevant account. This will ensure that if at all your account is hacked, you lose only a minimum amount of money. Keeping a low balance poses no problem as you can always top up the wallet or the account any number of times without any charges being incurred. Low balance and regular top ups is the key here.
LOCKING OF MOBILE PHONE
All mobile phones have the facility to lock its screen. Seniors often don’t use it. Face un lock, fingerprint, passcode, patterns etc are some of the ways available for locking the screen. You can use even multiple methods to lock the screen. Keep your screen locked so that in the event of your mobile phone landing up in the wrong hands, they can’t transact through it as the screen is locked. This is akin to keeping your house door locked and not leaving it open for anyone to enter.
Greed and Fear are two emotions that rise up very easily in most people. Scamsters conjure up situations that can give rise to these emotions and use them to entrap gullible people. Elders are no different from others and are equally prone to get trapped. Yet there is a difference. Greed is less likely to attract elders but fear will. All that is needed is the awareness that these are common traps being laid each day with higher ingenuity. The seniors have to be steadfast in their resolve not to get trapped and should not succumb. There are no free lunches in the world. Elders know this well. Tell yourself a few times this truth and when anyone tries to titillate your greed with an offer, reject it outright. Also don’t get scared by any threats posed on telephone. It is all an attempt to coax out of you your personal information in order to gain access to your finances. Be firm in rejecting these meaningless threats and you will be safe.
SAMARTH helpline is always available to you for any clarifications on these tips. The aim of this information piece is to cut through the fog of misinformation on technology and scams and let you enjoy the convenience technology provides in making safe money transactions. Just follow these steps to gain safety. It is really quite simple.