Scams Affect Gen Z More than Older Generations

November 21, 2023

If you have suffered from a scam in any way, know that you are not alone. Many have become victims of clever deceptions and opportunities that they later realized were cons. Adults from the second youngest generation, “Gen Z,” may suffer the most monetary loss from these scams. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported this observation after reviewing scam reports from the beginning of the year through June 24.

According to the BBB, people in the 18 to 24 age group have proven less likely to report a scam compared to other groups, such as those 65 and over. However, the median average loss of $200 is over $50 higher than the median loss of $149 for people 25 years and older. This average is $40 higher than the median loss for people 65 and older at $160.

Employment scams were the most commonly reported type of scam by people aged 18 to 24. This type made up 29.9% of scams reported to the BBB. Employment scams have proven to be one of the riskiest types, averaging a loss of $1,819 for this age group. The second most reported scam for 18- to 24-year-olds involves online purchases. This scam averaged a loss of $100, significantly less than employment scams. Other frequently reported scams include cryptocurrency, rental, and investment attempts.

Though 18- to 24-year-olds have suffered the most significant losses to scams, anyone can become a victim. As such, individuals should consider the following tips to identify and avoid them:

Identifying a Scam

The first step to avoiding a scam is identifying its signs. Here are several common red flags to avoid:

  • The scammer asks for payment in a specific manner. They may ask you to pay via gift card, app, or other difficult-to-trace avenues. A legitimate business or organization is unlikely to ask you to use a specific payment method.
  • Someone claims you won a prize or need to address a problem quickly. A scammer may claim you won something but must pay some money to claim it. A popular scam claims you must act quickly to fix a problem. Thieves often insist that you owe money to the government, that there will be trouble if you do not promptly pay it, and then instruct you to pay in a specific manner.
  • Scammers often want you to pay immediately. They do not want you to look too deeply into their lies. However, you do not want to give anyone money without verifying what they say. Legitimate businesses or organizations will understand your hesitation and agree to your decision to take the time to verify the information.

Avoiding Scams

Though avoiding scams can prove challenging, you can do a few things to avoid becoming a victim.

  • Do not give out your personal or financial information unless you initiated the transaction. Additionally, do not give out any sensitive information in response to a text or email. Even when you believe the request is legitimate, contact the company directly. You should also look up the official phone number and avoid using one provided in the text or email.
  • Do not act quickly. Scammers depend on you to act before thinking. Instead, take the time to verify the information. If you are unsure about what someone has told you, talk to a friend or relative about it. They could help you determine if it is a scam.
  • Be aware of how scammers request payment. Anyone asking you to pay with gift cards, a wire transfer service, a payment app, or cryptocurrency could be a scammer. Avoid paying anyone in this manner if you do not know the person. You should also avoid cashing a check and sending the money to anyone you do not know.

There are a lot of scammers out there, and anyone can become a victim. If you do become a victim, be sure to contact your financial institutions and law enforcement. Also, consider requesting a credit report to see if a thief has opened accounts using your name. You should also perform a self-background check to see if anyone has committed crimes using your identity.

You can stay one step ahead of hackers and identity thieves by running a quick self background check. Click here to get started.