Majority of elderly netizens victims of fraud

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, April 17, 2018
Adjust font size:

As China's elderly population grows, the number targeted by online fraud is also increasing, according to a survey released last month by internet giant Tencent and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

It found that just over two-thirds of elderly internet users, most of independent financial means, had fallen victim to an internet scam. More than half chose not to seek help, preferring to treat the experience as a lesson.

"Elderly people need more support and opportunities to connect to the internet," said Tian Feng, a researcher from the academy. "They should be forgiven and encouraged during the process of learning.

"Support from their children is very important to enhance their ability and prevent them from being duped."

According to a World Health Organization report in 2015, 28 percent of China's population will be 60 or older by 2040, up from 12.4 percent in 2010.

As more elderly people surf the web, they are also encountering a wider range of online functions and increasingly using them, according to the survey, which focused on those aged 50 and older - people defined by researchers from the academy as elderly.

The team conducting the survey interviewed more than 800 elderly people from both urban and rural areas and analyzed the browsing data of 35 million, which was provided by Tencent, which operates the WeChat messaging app.

The survey found that elderly people mainly use the internet for information and communication.

Over 75 percent browse news and information online, and more than half can conduct internet searches on their own.

The interviews showed the elderly are most interested in political and social news, with few caring about entertainment news. Those who actively search the web are likely to be looking for information about health, travel and tips about daily life.

Virtually all elderly Chinese know how to use WeChat and they can also shoot short videos focusing on travel, exercise and their grandchildren. The clips they share on the app are mainly humorous.

Almost 70 percent use WeChat to contact their partners to arrange dancing exercises in public spaces, while more than two-thirds coordinate travel plans with friends via the app.

However, when it comes to more complex transactions, such as shopping and actually booking tours, fewer elderly people choose to use the internet.

The survey found that about 30 percent can navigate using smartphone apps. But just 25 percent pay daily fees online or use taxi apps, and few use the internet to book tickets or register at hospitals.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:    
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from