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This just almost happened to me and my family. My parents are pushing 70 but still try to keep up with things. My father decides he wants to call PayPal regarding a return request from eBay. I'm in the room and "PayPal" tells him they need to go to a secure line and he needs to download an app. That's really strange I think, but generally scams are from phone calls to you, not you making the call. So I remain skeptical but don't immediately act. They want him to install TeamViewer which is for remote access. I search online to see if PayPal legit does this, nothing comes up. As the obvious over seas person with a thick accent says "oh is this your bank account?" I rip the phone out of my father's hands. End call, turn off data to end TeamViewer session. Need to turn on data to uninstall it (seriously Android?). Then proceed to have him show me where he got the number. He had searched Google for "phone number for PayPal". Somehow, someone got an ad at the top of that list. So he clicked the ad, not realizing that he's not on PayPal's site. Thank God I just happened to be in the room while on vacation (I live in another state now) when this happened, but what to do moving forward? He actually uses a completely separate bank account for PayPal but he still had a lot of money in there.



I think installing an AdBlocker is one of the first things I do when asked to help someone. While I understand and regret the impact on people's business models, it seems to really mitigate issues for those less tech-savy (anecdotally that is). Something like uBlock Origin or the like might be a good idea to avoid this issue.


I install Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin for my Mom's computer. I also showed her how to disable them temporarily if a site isn't working as she expects.


I find, after some testing, that Privacy Badger has quite some impact on the speed with which pages load, think around 1 second in some cases, which I find a lot. I therefore recommend against this setup, which I have run for months now, after finding out about the performance impact. Instead I'd recommend using Firefox with its built-in blocking and adding ublock origin to that.


We've installed an ad-blocker and PrivacyBadger, and have remove administrative privileges for most older members of the family. All have been instructed in how to disable those two add-ons when there's a need for it.

So far, there's been no major incidents, as the ad-blocker filters out most of the crap on-line, and the lack of administrative privileges prevent the less knowable users from doing something dangerous.


Babysit them more. Locked down account so they can't install stuff, better yet Linux so random stuff from the internet or malicious email attachment have a very high chance of not being for their platform.

And then just train them to forward any email that they can't identify as scam themselves right away to you.


that actually happened to me trying to find a human to talk with at Yahoo.

it was kind of hilarious to "hum-hum" my way through his instructions on how to install TeamViewer on Windows. obviously it failed at some point as I wasn't able to keep the pretense...

there are entire call centers dedicated to those scams, it's kind of scary.




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