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 Reported by Li Hongyang China Daily
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.