Ask someone which age group gets scammed most often and they’d surely answer that it’s our senior population since there are so many scams targeting them.
It seems like every time you turn around, there’s some new scam going around.
My cell phone rings all the time now with people telling me I’m due for some kind of reward because I’ve stayed at a certain resort or that I’m due for a drop in my credit card interest rate.
I’ve never stayed at a resort and, when pressed for details, the credit card people can’t identify which credit card they’re even talking about.
But they want plenty of personal information anyway.
Nearly every week, I hear about someone who’s been contacted about a similar scam. There are other familiar schemes out there:
How about the one from a local law enforcement agency warning you that unless you pay up right that minute, deputies will show up at your door to take you into custody?
How about the one from the IRS where the caller claims you owe so much in back taxes that they’re sending a marshal to your door to haul you away for good?
How about the one from a loved one who’s on vacation and has run into legal trouble and needs bail money?
All of them want you to send money via some kind of prepaid card that can never be traced. That should tell everyone something, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to.
But I found an interesting article on AARP the other day. (No, I’m not old enough to be a member, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of useful information there.)
According to the site, millennials are much more likely than seniors to be separated from their money by scammers.
Not the group you were expecting to be scammed most often, right?
Me, either. But consider these stats from the aforementioned article:
- A Harris poll found 33 percent of male millennials lost money to phone scammers compared to just 3 percent of men ages 55-64. The same poll found 11 percent of female millennials were scammed, “four times the rate of women 55 and older.”
- Millennials are six times more like reveal credit card and Social Security numbers and other sensitive information: Approximately 17 percent of millennials said they had provided information that could be used to steal their identity, compared to only 2 percent of baby boomers.
- The Better Business Bureau reported 30 percent of those 25-34 lost money to scammers in “everyday fraud” scams, but found for those 55 and older, the rate is in the single digits.
Maybe the older folks seem out of touch with today’s technology, but they certainly seem to have a much stronger grasp on common sense and being street-wise when it comes to deal with would-be scammers.
AARP offers, for folks of any age who may want to better protect themselves so they don’t fall victim, four reasons it’s the seniors, not millennials, who are better prepared. You might want to have a look and ponder.
And then think about keeping your guard up, no matter how young or old you happen to be.