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Consumer Alert: New website alerts seniors to scams

It's a sobering statistic: 67 percent of seniors have been the victim or target of an online scam, according to a new survey by Home Instead Senior Care.

It's a sobering statistic: 67 percent of seniors have been the victim or target of an online scam, according to a new survey by Home Instead Senior Care.

To alert seniors to scams before they fall victim, Home Instead Senior Care teamed up with the National Cyber Security Alliance to create ProtectSeniorsOnline.com.

“Our seniors are online a lot -- more than you'd think,” said Cristian Dersidan, president of Home Instead Senior Care in North Kingstown.

Ninety-seven percent of seniors go online at least once a week, the survey noted, with more than 40 percent accessing sensitive financial information.

That's music to scammers ears.

“They perceive them to be more well off, more trusting, also they perceive them to be less tech savvy,” said Dersidan. “Lastly, when an incident of actual fraud occurs, they're less likely to report it for fear of embarrassment.”

ProtectSeniorsOnline.com is preventing fraud by asking a simple question: Can you spot a scam?

“As someone who considers himself reasonably savvy about computers, I -- let's just say I didn't get the score that I thought I was going to get,” said Dersidan.

In addition to testing your scam smarts, ProtectSeniorsOnline.com arms seniors with resources, detailing tons of common scams and explaining what to do if you fall victim.

“It's something that happens all the time,” said Dersidan.

Experts say family involvement is key. Ask your parents or grandparents to take the quiz with you.

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