Millennials: Easy Targets for Fraud & Scams?

2017-06-15

Due to the nature of our business: managing your money, technology is an indispensable tool. Our alignment with well-established firms ensures that information is processed over digital platforms designed to protect and maintain the confidentiality of sensitive client data.

For Millennials, also known as Generation Y, (definition: People born in the 1980s and 1990s; mostly the children of the Baby Boomers) digital and electronic technology is a way of life and most can’t or very vaguely remember life before cell phones and computers.

Most of us “older” folk have been forced to embrace technology, for better or worse.  All industries require it to function, but for personal use, some of us have been slower on the uptake.  Over the years the CBC nightly news has programmed us and our parents to be aware of the potential threat of online fraud and scams; we’ve been trained to be wary.  Apparently, the Millennials weren’t tuned in.

Millennials (or Generation Y) are accustomed to addressing all of life’s little details over a smartphone: shopping, banking, donations, bill payments, job applications… and we assume their ability to easily integrate technology into their lives is because they are better equipped to discern threat.  It turns out this is not the case.  In a recent article by Melissa Leong (Financial Post May 10, 2017) she identifies several online scams specifically targeting Millennials and writes: “millennials suffer from optimism bias and are therefore less cautious. And while they’re the most technologically savvy cohort, they’re less savvy with privacy and with security.”

And according to a Capital One (credit card company) survey: Millennials are more likely than other generations to admit they share their PINs with family and friends, use their personal information such as their birthday as their PIN and share their credit card number over the phone or email.

The article goes on to report the results of an Equifax study that demonstrates Millennials are increasingly targeted for money scams.  Cybersecurity expert, Tom Keenan, said: “They’re new at managing their money.  They all need money and people who need money are usually good victims.”

For a brow-raising read, check out the article: These five tech based money scams are making millennials look like suckers.

Please share this post with the Millennial in your life, especially when you get teased about your “old school” ways.

What’s your generation?

Baby Boomers: People born in the immediate post World War 2 period, starting in 1946. Currently, this group is in their retirement years.

Generation X: People born in the period following the baby boomers. Demographers typically use starting birth years ranging from the early-to-mid 1960s and ending birth years ranging from the late 1970s to early 1980s.

Millennials (also known as Generation Y): People born in the 1980s and 1990s, comprising primarily the children of the baby boomers.

Silent Generation: People living in the U.S. during the McCarthy Era (1947–1956). This was a period during which widespread accusations of subversion or treason were made against U.S. citizens without proper regard for evidence. The Silent Generation was notable for not speaking out against this injustice.