Project to arm seniors against online scams inspires scaled up version

What began as a small-scale partnership between Ireland, Italy, North Macedonia and Slovakia could be scaled up to include extra EU countries and and to do more to help senior citizens to protect themselves against scammers and trolls.

The decision was made as partners met in the Slovakian town of Čadca as the DiSeRA digital media project for senior citizens in rural areas approaches its end. EurAV had played a key role in the project, using its communication expertise to develop radio-like podcast resources that were broadcast to senior citizens in all four countries.

“We had minimum targets to hit with regards to the number of people who participated,” explained a EurAV spokesperson, but when we met in Slovakia we found that all four partners had exceeded expectations. It showed us that the older generations, who are being forced to immigrate online as digital literacy becomes more and more necessary to do everyday things, need support. Research shows that they are most likely to fall victim to scams and they are most likely to believe fake news and, more worryingly, share it with friends and family – so the disinformation spreads among vulnerable people.”

While in Čadca, partners were joined by its Chief of Police who took time out from his busy schedule to show his support for the project and the Slovakian partner CPM – Youth prevention center of Slovakia. The other partners are EurAV in Ireland, EKE in North Macedonia and New Horizons in Italy.

More can be found about the project on its website.

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