Gen Zers and Millennials: Targets of Fraud

Bperson typing on laptopy: Dr. Thamara Barthelus

In today’s uncertain economy fraud is proliferating. Nefarious predators view economic crisis as an opportunity to cast their net of deception into the sea of vulnerable victims. Among those most affected are students.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, young adults (specifically those aged 18−24 years old) report losing money to fraud more often than adults. While much of the focus has been placed on the elderly, recent data has awakened us to the reality of financial victimization of young adults. A recent study indicated that 43% of people in their 20s reported a loss to fraud, while only 15% of people in their 70s did (Witt, 2019). Although “digital natives” consider themselves tech savvy, they are more willing to share their personal information online without much hesitation. BBB’s ScamTracker Risk Report highlights the severity of this problem by revealing that 41.6% of college students suffered a financial loss when approached by scammers.

Among the schemes used to defraud young people, the top three are:

  • Gift card scams
  • Fake check scams
  • Employment scams

To avoid victimization, five points are suggested:

  • Keep personal information safe
  • Avoid paying unfamiliar debt upon demand
  • Hide your passwords
  • Avoid providing passwords to anyone
  • Research companies prior to giving them your hard-earned money.

Many victims of fraud do not report scams or identity theft due to embarrassment. Always remember, fraudsters are very savvy. Even the most knowledgeable and well-informed individuals can become victims.

If you find yourself in this frustrating dilemma, there are steps to take to ensure that you do not become a victim twice.

  • Contact your financial institution
  • Notify your credit card company
  • File a police report
  • Notify the three national credit bureaus

Since new scams are developed regularly by scammers, the public must be made aware of their schemes. This awareness can only come when those who have witnessed or experienced victimization, report their experience.

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Baxter, L. (2017, July 27), Who is most susceptible to scams? Retrieved from–who-is-most-susceptible-to-scams-.html
Beware the fake check scam targeting college students. (2020, February, 4.). Retrieved from
Bryne, H. (2019, July 5). Half of young adults are targeted by fraud scams each month. Retrieved from
Federal Trade Commission
Witt, P. (2019, February, 28). The top frauds of 2018. Retrieved from