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More millennials than seniors losing money to scams

Mar 4, 2018, 10:12 pm

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Forget the cliché of the vulnerable senior citizen falling victim to scammers — a larger share of young people reported that they lost money to fraud than older individuals did in 2017.

Among consumers ages 20 to 29, 40% of those who made fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission lost money, compared with just 18% of those who were ages 70 and older, according to an annual report from the federal agency released Thursday.

The report examined consumer complaints made to the FTC in 2017. Roughly 2.68 million consumers complained to the Federal Trade Commission about fraud in 2017, down from 2.98 million people the year prior. The largest share of complaints overall came from people between the ages of 60 and 69 — this group represented 19% of the reports the FTC received last year.

Who are fraud victims?

Research has shown that younger consumers might actually be more vulnerable to scams. Although the popular image of a fraud victim is someone who's less educated or older, in fact the opposite is often true. People between the ages of 25 and 34 were the most likely to lose money to fraud, according to a 2016 study from the Better Business Bureau. And more than half of those who suffered a fraud-related financial loss had a college degree.

Riskier online behavior

Part of the problem, especially where young people are concerned, is the so-called "optimism bias": Young people assume that others are at a higher risk of fraud, so they take more risks online. Other research has shown young people are more inclined to share personal information online such as their e-mail address or mother's maiden name than older generations.

Plus, younger consumers may be less familiar with what a scam looks like, said Monica Vaca, associate director of the FTC's Division of Consumer Response and Operations. "Older consumers are doing a really good job recognizing fraud when they encounter it," Vaca said. "They're taking the next step to warn other people about it."

Seniors pay more when they're duped

While younger people might be more likely to be duped, older individuals will suffer a greater loss when they are defrauded.

The median loss for people between the ages of 70 and 79 was $621, versus just $400 for those ages 20 to 29, according to the FTC. This could be a virtue of the financial situations for these different groups of consumers, Vaca said. "It's possible that some older consumers have a little bit more money to lose," Vaca said. "It might also be that con artists when they get someone on the phone might assume they have more money to lose."

Indeed, the financial impact from fraud on seniors may go far beyond what is reported to the FTC. Some researchers believe as much as $3 billion is stolen annually from seniors by fraudsters, according to Consumer Reports.

Overall, consumers lost more to fraud in 2017

Fewer consumers reported fraud in 2017 — but those who did lost more money. Altogether, consumers lost $905 million to fraud last year — a 7% increase from 2016. But those losses were highly concentrated, as only 21% of consumers who made a complaint to the FTC reported a loss.

The median loss a consumer suffered was $429. Travel and vacation scams tended to be the most costly, with a median loss of $1,710. Other costly fraud categories last year included mortgage foreclosure relief and business and job opportunity scams.

Thankfully for consumers, these forms of fraud were not the most common. That dubious distinction goes to scams involving debt collection (23% of all reports), identity theft (14%) and imposter scams (13%).

Credit card fraud was the most common form of identity theft, constituting more than 133,000 reports, followed by employment or tax-related fraud.

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13 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by LottoBux.
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Avatar

United States
Member #174652
May 5, 2016
1093 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 4, 2018, 10:18 pm - IP Logged

Forget the cliché of the vulnerable senior citizen falling victim to scammers — a larger share of young people reported that they lost money to fraud than older individuals did in 2017.

Among consumers ages 20 to 29, 40% of those who made fraud complaints to the Federal Trade Commission lost money, compared with just 18% of those who were ages 70 and older, according to an annual report from the federal agency released Thursday.

The report examined consumer complaints made to the FTC in 2017. Roughly 2.68 million consumers complained to the Federal Trade Commission about fraud in 2017, down from 2.98 million people the year prior. The largest share of complaints overall came from people between the ages of 60 and 69 — this group represented 19% of the reports the FTC received last year.

Who are fraud victims?

Research has shown that younger consumers might actually be more vulnerable to scams. Although the popular image of a fraud victim is someone who's less educated or older, in fact the opposite is often true. People between the ages of 25 and 34 were the most likely to lose money to fraud, according to a 2016 study from the Better Business Bureau. And more than half of those who suffered a fraud-related financial loss had a college degree.

Riskier online behavior

Part of the problem, especially where young people are concerned, is the so-called "optimism bias": Young people assume that others are at a higher risk of fraud, so they take more risks online. Other research has shown young people are more inclined to share personal information online such as their e-mail address or mother's maiden name than older generations.

Plus, younger consumers may be less familiar with what a scam looks like, said Monica Vaca, associate director of the FTC's Division of Consumer Response and Operations. "Older consumers are doing a really good job recognizing fraud when they encounter it," Vaca said. "They're taking the next step to warn other people about it."

Seniors pay more when they're duped

While younger people might be more likely to be duped, older individuals will suffer a greater loss when they are defrauded.

The median loss for people between the ages of 70 and 79 was $621, versus just $400 for those ages 20 to 29, according to the FTC. This could be a virtue of the financial situations for these different groups of consumers, Vaca said. "It's possible that some older consumers have a little bit more money to lose," Vaca said. "It might also be that con artists when they get someone on the phone might assume they have more money to lose."

Indeed, the financial impact from fraud on seniors may go far beyond what is reported to the FTC. Some researchers believe as much as $3 billion is stolen annually from seniors by fraudsters, according to Consumer Reports.

Overall, consumers lost more to fraud in 2017

Fewer consumers reported fraud in 2017 — but those who did lost more money. Altogether, consumers lost $905 million to fraud last year — a 7% increase from 2016. But those losses were highly concentrated, as only 21% of consumers who made a complaint to the FTC reported a loss.

The median loss a consumer suffered was $429. Travel and vacation scams tended to be the most costly, with a median loss of $1,710. Other costly fraud categories last year included mortgage foreclosure relief and business and job opportunity scams.

Thankfully for consumers, these forms of fraud were not the most common. That dubious distinction goes to scams involving debt collection (23% of all reports), identity theft (14%) and imposter scams (13%).

Credit card fraud was the most common form of identity theft, constituting more than 133,000 reports, followed by employment or tax-related fraud.

"The largest share of complaints overall came from people between the ages of 60 and 69 � this group represented 19% of the reports the FTC received last year."

The eternal crybabies can't stop whining.

Thumbs Down

    Avatar
    Jacksonville
    United States
    Member #153801
    March 26, 2014
    770 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 4, 2018, 10:31 pm - IP Logged

    The article hints at it, but older people may be less likely to report fraud.  I live in Florida and there is a large population of older people (e.g., god's waiting room).  Many get taken advantage of by caregivers, relatives, financial advisers, etc and it never gets reported.  Given their diminished capacity, many old people never report the fraud (or realize they were defrauded in the first place).

      grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
      Win Today.
      bel air maryland
      United States
      Member #90247
      April 24, 2010
      9113 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 4, 2018, 10:40 pm - IP Logged

      "The largest share of complaints overall came from people between the ages of 60 and 69 � this group represented 19% of the reports the FTC received last year."

      The eternal crybabies can't stop whining.

      "Older consumers are doing a really good job recognizing fraud when they encounter it," Vaca said. "They're taking the next step to warn other people about it."

      Us "eternal crybabies" are trying to warn you younger ones so you all don't get ripped off.

      Judging by the second and forth paragraphs you're not listening.

      "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

      The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

      Be willing to try a new strategy. If it doesn't work, try a different one.

        grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
        Win Today.
        bel air maryland
        United States
        Member #90247
        April 24, 2010
        9113 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 4, 2018, 10:51 pm - IP Logged

        The article hints at it, but older people may be less likely to report fraud.  I live in Florida and there is a large population of older people (e.g., god's waiting room).  Many get taken advantage of by caregivers, relatives, financial advisers, etc and it never gets reported.  Given their diminished capacity, many old people never report the fraud (or realize they were defrauded in the first place).

        You're absolutely right gatorsok. I might add that once they realize they've been duped, they then realize how foolish they were to fall for it. And after that they are often too embarrassed to tell anyone.

        "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

        The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

        Be willing to try a new strategy. If it doesn't work, try a different one.

          shadowlady's avatar - Trek UFPSYM1.gif

          United States
          Member #154193
          April 7, 2014
          74 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 4, 2018, 10:59 pm - IP Logged

          I managed to keep my mother informed of scams, and hubby keeps track of his parents, and helps them avoid scams.

          Luckily I was always suspicious of things when groeing up.

            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            Fresno, California
            United States
            Member #157851
            August 2, 2014
            3861 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 5, 2018, 2:51 am - IP Logged

            I have a debit card but no credit cards. But that is no protection because I was scammed anyway. 

             After a big win, I may just go cash. Stay off the internet for awhile. 

             I will use landline phones as I do now. The phone and snail mail will be the only way to reach me. 

             I will come back to LP as a guest on public computers. Tell everybody how I am doing.

             Good Luck everyone!

            Dance

            When will COVID-19 be finished?  A vaccine may protect all of us.

              GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
              NY State
              United States
              Member #92605
              June 10, 2010
              4677 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 5, 2018, 8:04 am - IP Logged

              First, I'm a cranky old curmudgeon! 

              Lemme just say that I aint ever been scammed, but more importantly, I aint ever gonna get scammed because I watch too much American Greed on CNBC. (I aint got nuthin else to do with my time, 'cept play the lottery)

              The sentence immediately above to the aside, I'm always shocked when I see how easy it is for a con artist to give a big fat haircut to some poor unsuspecting innocent person. As we've watched the show, I've often wondered aloud to my wife if I could be that easily duped by a slick fast talker. I bet it's a whole lot easier to fall for a scam than I think it is. G5

              Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

                Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                100
                Zeta Reticuli Star System
                United States
                Member #30469
                January 17, 2006
                11480 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 5, 2018, 11:52 am - IP Logged

                G5,

                Consider obituaries. They can be a literal gold mine for scammers. Mother's maiden name, birthplace and birthday give them a pretty good start. If the deceased had any siblings the siblings get targeted right along with the deceased. (Credit cards, etc....)

                Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                Lep

                There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                  duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                  Jacksonville Florida
                  United States
                  Member #23017
                  October 6, 2005
                  1082 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 5, 2018, 10:45 pm - IP Logged

                  The number of scammers and the diversity of scams out there are at an all time high.

                  If everyone would follow this one simple rule, they would never get scammed by any of the common scams floating around: Never ever under any circumstances give out money or financial information to ANY unsolicited call, email, or letter you receive (this includes giving out your details on your credit cards, debit cards, bank account information, social security numbers, etc).

                  Unsolicited emails, unsolicited calls, and unsolicited postal mail = SCAM ... treat them ALL as scams.

                  Beside the common fake IRS scams, the fake Microsoft scams, the "you have won xxxxxx" scams, this also includes many of the "charity" scammers, including some known names. As for charities, before giving to them do your homework and check them out. Never give out money (credit cards or debit cards) over the phone. If you ask the charity to send you printed information including financial disclosure and they say they can't or won't, then think SCAM and tell them no thanks. If they try to intimidate you then it is a scam and it is best just to hang up.

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    Kuala lumpur
                    Malaysia
                    Member #188312
                    March 5, 2018
                    3 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 5, 2018, 10:47 pm - IP Logged

                    Hi good day to u, can u help me how to win a number lottery here in malaysia. I want to win so I can pay my working permit. Thanks and have a good day

                      Avatar
                      New Member
                      Kuala lumpur
                      Malaysia
                      Member #188312
                      March 5, 2018
                      3 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 5, 2018, 10:52 pm - IP Logged

                      Hi good day to u, can u help me how to win a number lottery here in malaysia. I want to win so I can pay my working permit. Thanks and have a good day

                        grwurston's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        Win Today.
                        bel air maryland
                        United States
                        Member #90247
                        April 24, 2010
                        9113 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 6, 2018, 7:51 pm - IP Logged

                        The number of scammers and the diversity of scams out there are at an all time high.

                        If everyone would follow this one simple rule, they would never get scammed by any of the common scams floating around: Never ever under any circumstances give out money or financial information to ANY unsolicited call, email, or letter you receive (this includes giving out your details on your credit cards, debit cards, bank account information, social security numbers, etc).

                        Unsolicited emails, unsolicited calls, and unsolicited postal mail = SCAM ... treat them ALL as scams.

                        Beside the common fake IRS scams, the fake Microsoft scams, the "you have won xxxxxx" scams, this also includes many of the "charity" scammers, including some known names. As for charities, before giving to them do your homework and check them out. Never give out money (credit cards or debit cards) over the phone. If you ask the charity to send you printed information including financial disclosure and they say they can't or won't, then think SCAM and tell them no thanks. If they try to intimidate you then it is a scam and it is best just to hang up.

                        Excellent Advise!!!  Thumbs Up

                        "You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame baseball player.

                        The numbers will tell you what numbers to play. Pay attention to the numbers.

                        Be willing to try a new strategy. If it doesn't work, try a different one.

                          LottoBux's avatar - ryn8iCO
                          25
                          Ontario
                          Canada
                          Member #109239
                          April 9, 2011
                          60437 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 17, 2018, 12:21 pm - IP Logged

                          Wow,I Haven't Seen One Of These In Awhile.

                          Found These 2 In My Spam Folder The Other Day

                             

                          I Wonder How Many E-Mail Recipients Actually Sent $$$

                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          ATTENTION: YOUR PACKAGE HAVE JUST ARRIVED

                          ATTN: BENEFICIARY
                           
                          I'm Diplomatic Agent Mr. Chris Ibeh; I have been trying to reach you on your Email about few hours ago, just to inform you about my successful arrival in Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (TX) USA with your box of consignment worth $8.3 Million Dollars which I have been instructed by IC EXPRESS COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY to be delivered to you.
                           
                          The Airport Authority demanded for all the legal back up papers to prove to them that the fund is in no way related with drug nor fraud money, I have presented the papers I handed to them and they are very much pleased with the papers I presented but the only thing that is still keeping me here is the airport Anti-drug/terrorist clearance certificate and International Delivery Permit which is not placed on the package, one of the Airport Authority has advise that we get the delivery tag so that I can exit the airport immediately and make my delivery successful. I tried to lias with them and they stated the delivery tag will cost us just $189 Dollars only fot the two documents placed on the packages as that documents will enable me to get to you.
                           
                          Please try as much as you can to reach me on my phone number (512)-540-3184 as I can not afford to spend much time here. You can direct the tag to our Head Office as they will get it for you and they are entitled to receive and make any payment to foreign countries authority. Email me with below information to enable me know your arrangement for the $189. EMAIL: ( chrisibeh02@gmail.com )
                          Meanwhile you are advice to reconfirm the following information upon contacting us to avoid delivering your package to the wrong person.
                           
                          1- Your Full Name
                          2- Your Delivery Address
                          3- Your Nearest Airport
                          4- Your Contact Telephone Number
                          5- Your Occupation
                          6- Your Identification (Passport number or ID Card number)
                          Below is the information where the payment of $ 189 will be transfer to Federal Ministry of Finance Nigeria (FMF) where the Tag Deliver will be issue in your name. Please you have to send then payment via Western Union outlets ONLY.
                           
                          Here is the receiver information
                          1.RECEIVER NAME: ......... Umoh Daniel
                          2.COUNTRY: ............. Nigeria.
                          3.CITY: ............... Lagos
                          4..TEST QUESTION: ... How Long
                          5.TEST ANSWER: ...... Today
                          MTCN: ...............
                          SENDER NAME: ...............
                          Amount ................. $ 189
                          Email me the payment information as soon as you made the payment available to the name of Mr. Umoh Daniel in Federal Ministry of Finance Headquarters.
                          Email :( chrisibeh02@gmail.com )
                           
                          Thanks,
                          Delivery personnel.
                           
                          MR. CHRIS IBEH
                          DELIVERY OFFICER
                          PH: (512)-540-3184
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Here's The 2nd One 
                           
                          Dear Beneficiary

                          I am Peter Douglas Director Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agent in Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport Atlanta GA. We are rounding up for the first Quater of the auditing, all abandom Consignment in US Airports are being transfer to our facilities here for inspection and confiscation. During our investigation, I discovered An abandoned shipment on your name which was transferred to our facility here in Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box. The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money, rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the Diplomatic Agent also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.

                          On my assumption, the boxes will contain more that $6M and the consignment is still left in storage facility till today. The Consignment is a metal box with weight of about 242LBS (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective capacity: 680 L.)Approximately.

                          The details of the consignment including your name the official document from United Nation office in London are tagged on the Metal Trunk box.

                          I want to use my good office and clear the Consignment and deliver it to you. If you WILL  A   C  C  E  P  T  MY CONDITION AND want us to transact the delivery for mutual benefit, you should provide your name, Phone Number and full address, to cross check if it corresponds with the address on the official document including the name of nearest Airport around you and other details. You should send the required details to me for onward delivery.

                          All communication must be held extremely confidential. I can get everything concluded within 24 to 48 hours upon your     A    C    C    E    P    T    A    N    C    E     and proceed to your address for delivery. But it must be on the condition that you will give me 30% of the amount contained in the boxes and i must get assurance from you concerning my 30% before i will proceed.

                          I want us to transact this business and share the money, since the shipper have abandoned it and ran away. I will pay for the Non inspection fee and arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this Airport to your address, Once i am through, i will deploy the services of a secured shipping Company to provide the security it needs to your doorstep. or i can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble. But i will share it 70% to you and 30% to me. But you have to assure me of my 30%. do respond to me via my private Email: perterdouglas21@mailbox.sk immediately if you are interested to conclude this with me.


                          Looking forward to hear from you

                          Best Regards,

                          Peter Douglas