Who comes to mind when you think of someone being a victim of an internet scam? Perhaps a grandma who fell victim to a tech support scam and lost 20,000. And while it is true that scammers may target the elderly, a recent analysis revealed that Millennials are the generation most prone to fall for internet scams.
There were 1,000 participants in the study, with men and women making up nearly as many. There were six age ranges: 18 to 24, 25 to 34, 35 to 44, 45 to 54, and 55 or older. Respondents were questioned about encounters with con artists, including being the target of con artists and falling for their tricks.
Comparison between the age group of online fraud victims
Here are the percentages by age group for those who had been scammed at least once, even though the majority hadn't fallen for one:
You can see that the two age ranges that contain Millennials, 24 to 34 and 35 to 44, had much higher fraud risk. And the survey's oldest cohort had the lowest odds of falling for a con.
Surprised? We were too. Many people have the misconception that because Millennials were the first generation of digital natives, they are extremely computer adept. And while that may be partially true—younger Millennials, in particular, were the first to grow up with the internet and consequently, as a group, tend to know more about it than Gen X or the Boomers—it also suggests that this age group has likely spent and still spends the most time online in more contexts.
Millennials are mostly responsible for the invention and widespread use of modern social media. And throughout the past two decades, when this age group started and built their professions, there has been a boom in "knowledge jobs" (i.e., ones that are mostly performed on a computer).
On the other hand, Gen X and older boomers most definitely did not grow up online. Older Baby Boomers can still recall televisions that really contained tubes. In comparison to Millennials, they have therefore spent less of their life online as a whole.
More time spent online naturally exposes one to more possible frauds and scammers, which may account for some of the difference between the number of Millennials who have fallen for scams and the number of Gen X and Boomers who have. It's also likely that because they feel more at ease online, Millennials are more trustworthy than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers are. Since they have been communicating with strangers online since elementary school, they believe they are adept at navigating it.
Of course, the issue is that con artists are constantly developing and coming up with new strategies for using social engineering to achieve their objectives. It's probable that Millennials' increased time online, comfort with the internet, and level of arrogance all contribute to making them more susceptible to falling for online fraud.
Gen Z, on the other hand, has never lived in a world without the internet. In fact, there are young people alive today who are of legal drinking age yet have never known a world without internet-connected phones. The majority of their lives have been spent online. Why, according to our prior analysis, don't they fall for as many con artists as Millennials do?
Despite having spent more of their lives online than any other age group, the first explanation could be that they just haven't been active enough. Spending more time online makes it more likely that a fraudster may try to contact you by text, social media, or messaging services. There is currently no way to predict whether the number of Gen Z will increase as they age.
They might not, though, as the lower number might also mean that society as a whole is doing a better job of educating our youth about the dangers they might face online. If so, Gen Z may be able to reverse the direction that the Millennials took by keeping the number of people who report having been scammed low as they become older.
No matter your age, if you've been the victim of a scam, keep in mind that it's the con artist's express purpose to defraud you. They work just as hard to come up with new ways to con you out of your hard-earned money as you do at your job. Therefore, in the end, it's not you. Really.
How to avoid getting scammed?
1. Verify details of buyer/seller before proceeding to payment.
2. Any individual showing urgency or not waiting for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be a scammer.
3. You should never scan a QR code, share an OTP, or visit a link given by anyone on the internet.
4. Your One Time Password (OTP), UPI pin, and other secret information should not be shared on WhatsApp. Never provide banking information if anyone asks you to and always contact your bank. There is a possibility of fraud here.
5. It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch.
Digital Escrow Service In India.
Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.
Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process.
There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free.
Check back here to learn more about Escrow and how to protect yourself from fraud.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!
As you're now aware of the importance of online safety, let's get your transactions secure on Vouch. It's just a click away.