Protecting Older Users Online

by Ginny Fahs, Anil Dewan, Steven Buccini and Ora Tanner

Download Executive Summary

Strong empirical evidence suggests older adults are as vulnerable as young children in their interactions online, yet technology policy projects often do not make special considerations for this age group. Adults over 60 lost $650 million as victims of online crime in 2018, and the US has seen a 400 percent increase in internet crime towards this age group over the past five years. This project recommends that the federal government redesign its scam reporting system to facilitate participation by older adults. Additionally, it recommends tasking the Federal Trade Commission and other enforcement bodies of digital technology legislation to educate themselves on the implications of technology design for older adults and to regulate with their safety in mind.

Click below to visit the Family Engagement Network for Survivors of Elder Scams (FENSES) website; to view the team’s policy brief recommending change; to check out their redesigned scam reporting form; and to view helpful resources to facilitate seniors’ reporting.

View the Family Engagement Network of Survivors for Elder Scams (FENSES) website
View a Presentation for our Designing for Older Adults Workshop
View the Cybercrime Support Network Press Release
View the Policy Brief

View the Senior Scam Reporting Guide Flowchart

View the Demo Day Presentation
View the Redesigned Scam Reporting Form

View the Scam Reporting Memo

Media Coverage

New Research Pinpoints How Elderly People Are Targeted in Online Scams (CNBC)