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Apparently, being ultra-tech savvy isn’t enough to keep you safe from online scams, a new report suggests.
According to a study by Social Catfish, the number of people aged 20 or younger – Generation Z who grew up using smartphones and the internet – who say they were victims of cyber fraud has dropped 156 in the past three years % increased online identity verification service. This compares with a 112% growth in the same time for people over 60, the group with the next fastest growth in fraud.
“It’s alarming,” said David McClellan, president of Social Catfish. “The generation we think is most familiar with the Internet is the fastest growing fraud rate.”
For those under the age of 21, complaints to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reached about 23,200 last year (up from 9,000 in 2017), resulting in a loss of about $ 71 million (compared to $ 8.3 million). Dollars in 2017).
“This age group is very comfortable being online and speaking very publicly about their lives,” said McClellan. “So that makes them very trustworthy when they are on the Internet.”
While complaints have grown fastest among the youngest generation in the country, more elderly Americans overall have been bullied: Last year, about 105,300 complaints of online fraud among those over the age of 60 resulted in a total loss of $ 966 million, it said in the study.
Overall, victims of all ages lost a total of $ 4.2 billion in 2020, according to an FBI report that the Social Catfish study drew on as part of its research.
Here are some common scams targeting teenagers or young adults and how to avoid them according to Social Catfish:
• Job fraud: Be wary of any job that seems too good to be true or that asks you to pay money for an education. Never provide personally identifiable information without a thorough company investigation.
• Online influencer scams: This includes creating fake social media accounts that mimic the influencer, run a contest, and then ask the “winner” to pay a fee or provide their bank account number to receive their prize. Never send money or banking information to someone you don’t know.
• Online shopping fraud: This scam is caused by a website that looks like a legitimate online store selling items at a huge discount. However, the item you ordered never arrives and the scammers have your credit card and personal information.
Warnings that a website is fake include a high frequency of typing errors or a customer service email that looks like a personal one (e.g. ending in gmail.com). Also, do research on the company if the deals look too good to be real.
• Romance scams: These scammers end up winning a person’s heart and then trying to get the victim’s money as well. If the person isn’t video chatting or meeting in person, this is a big warning sign.
If you have been the victim of online fraud, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI.