As technologically savvy as millennials can be, phone scammers have still found a way to convince them to hand over their money or personal information, and they don’t realize this until it’s too late.
When we think of scams, the most likely victims we think of are seniors. However, seniors have become more aware of scams targeting their generation, making them savvier at dodging scammers. Meanwhile, millennials have given themselves a false sense of security by believing “it could never happen to me.”
Why the Change in Targets
“Anxiety over finding a job and paying off student loans, and a feeling of invincibility, creates a formula that makes millennials especially vulnerable,” Tom Bartholomy, President of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont, told The Charlotte Observer.
Being less cautious and uniformed is not helping the younger generations either.
Student Loan Scam: Student loans are inevitable, so finding a victim is pretty easy for scammers. Preying off their vulnerability, scammers are able to dupe victims into handing over their private and financial information with promises of debt relief.
Government grants: Another spin on taking advantage of those with student loans, the government grant scam lures victims in with a few questions that may qualify them for a grant. The questions may seem innocent up until they throw the victim a curve ball requesting that they give them financial information so they’re able to deposit the so-called grant into their checking account.
Federal Student Tax: You’d think they’d give students a break, but they won’t. Making their next victim believe they will be put under arrest unless they pay up, the financial student tax scam uses scare tactics against students in regards to unpaid student loans, taxes, or even an overdue parking ticket.
Smishing Offers: Who doesn’t look for a good deal, especially when you’re on a budget? When a victim is targeted with a text offering amazing deals with a link that they just can’t pass up, it’s tempting to take a look. However, DO NOT CLICK THE LINK! Many of these links are fraudulent websites waiting to steal personal and financial information.
Tech Support: As often as we find millennials on their laptops and smartphones, it’s no surprise that when they get a call or notification about a possible security breach, virus, or issue to what they consider their life lines, they’ll drop everything to fix it. However, sometimes this means paying for “tech support” that they don’t realize will jeopardize their personal and financial information until it’s too late.
How to Protect Millennials From Scammers
- Stay up to date on the latest scams that are trending. Keeping yourself informed will make you less of a target and more prepared when scammers call.
- If you receive an unexpected call requesting you share personal or financial information, or that you need to make payments immediately, hang-up. Verify that the call is legitimate by calling the official number of the institution they claim to be from.
- If you’ve been victimized or have received a call similar to any of the scams above, please report the scam to the FCC to help raise awareness and prevent your peers from becoming the next victim.