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Teens Fall for More Online Scams Than Old People

Teens Fall for More Online Scams Than Old People

Did we learn nothing from MTV’s “Catfish”?

With technology making it easier for people to connect, online scams are becoming increasingly prevalent. And, according to a recent study, tech-savvy teens are falling for them at a higher rate than seniors.

Yes, you read that right.

The study, conducted by Social Catfish, found that the money lost by victims under 20 years old grew by 1,125% over the last five years, compared to 390% for seniors. In 2017, teens lost $8.2 million, compared to $101.4 million in 2021.

State of Internet Scams 2022 - Scamfish - A Consumer Protection Publication -

“They’re growing up in this TikTok generation, the iPhone generation, where it’s really cool to talk to strangers online. People are getting their advice from people on social media versus googling it and doing their due diligence,” said David McClellan, the CEO and founder of Social Catfish.

So, what are the most common scams targeting teens? Let’s take a look.

  1. “Sextortion” – Scammers pose as attractive females on social media, send nude photos and ask for the same in return. Once they receive the photo, they threaten to send it to all the victim’s friends and family if they don’t pay up.
  2. Student Loan Forgiveness – With the government announcing up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness, fake websites with imposter Department of Education logos are tricking people into providing their personal and banking information.
  3. Online Gaming – Players are being targeted with phishing links during in-game chat, which if clicked, will give the scammer access to all their information.
  4. Talent Scout – Users on Instagram and TikTok receive DMs offering modeling and acting opportunities. They ask for a fee to apply, but of course, there is no job waiting.

“All these scams, they’re tailored toward this click-run type reaction where somebody makes a decision without having been able to step back or do their due diligence,” McClellan said. “Sometimes they play into greed a little bit. Sometimes they play into emotions, sometimes they play into fear, but it’s usually in a way that makes you make a decision right away where you make that mistake.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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