Young People Are Likely to Lose Their Money And Pride To Scammers

Confident in their ability to adopt new technology, young adults under the age of twenty-five are just as likely to lose money to scammers as people over seventy-five, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission.

According to the FTC, while the money young adults lose per scam is comparatively lower than the amount older people lose, this loss eventually adds up to nearly half a billion dollars in the last two years. Compared with older persons, scammers tend to switch tactics with young adults, exploiting the younger people’s love for technology. 

Generally, they spoof their phone numbers and impersonate a business agency or government agency in calls, emails, and texts. Among the top scams that young people fall prey to are online shopping frauds, fake check scams, business scams, romance scams. On the other hand, older people are more likely to be targets of telemarketing and tax audit phone scams.

Both demographics are routinely targeted by scammers impersonating law enforcement and government agencies like the Center for Disease Control, the DEA, and Homeland Security. A closer examination shows that scammers target the personal information of young people. Older people, who have better credit, face the challenge of protecting their financial information from scammers.

Experts attribute this likelihood of young people falling for phone and online scams to decreased vigilance. Because they spend a lot of time online, young people consider themselves inure to scams and are less likely to scrutinize an email or text for scams.

A lot of preparation goes into impersonating a legit business or government. Instead, scammers use phishing links in SMS and email to steal the private information of young adults. Another method is scammers impersonating technical support and requesting online passwords and bank account information from unsuspecting users. For many victims, the experience only hurts their pride. Others are not so lucky. They lose everything and later file for bankruptcy after being pushed to financial insolvency by scammers. Even at that, they are still at the risk of falling for debt-relief scams.

There are several ways to avoid phone scam frauds using mobile communications technology that counter fraudulent tricks scammers employ. While mobile carriers adopt the STIR/SHAKEN technology, a reverse phone search is an effective way to confirm unknown caller identity. Using authentication apps instead of SMS-based two-factor authentication also adds an extra layer of protection to passwords for social and financial accounts.  

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