When we envision the victim of a financial scam, we often conjure up a gray-haired grandpa unwittingly giving his bank details in a phishing scam or a rube sending wire transfers to a Nigerian prince.
Surprisingly though, millennials have proven to be vulnerable despite their comfort with technology.
Phone scams are the Achilles heel of the younger set; indeed, millennials are almost three times more likely to get snookered by phone scammers than baby boomers. How on earth can this be happening? Ironically, it’s their very comfort with technology that is at the root of their vulnerability.
Recently, the IRS issued warnings that the high number of data breaches over the past few years have given these black-hearted scoundrels access to reams of personal information, including social security numbers. And once a millennial hears the last four digits of their SSN, they’re more than six times more likely to disclose information they shouldn’t.
There are a couple of factors that contribute to this surprising guilelessness. First, digital savvy millennials generally have less fear of the repercussions of disclosure and they trust the financial system to protect them. Older generations are not only much more skeptical, but they typically have far more assets at risk.
And the rate of scam calls is on the rise. This year, people are four times more likely to receive such a call than they were in 2015. Scammers are also becoming bolder, with a number having the temerity to impersonate the IRS. Scams are particularly prevalent during tax season, and it should be noted that the IRS NEVER contacts taxpayers by phone.
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Millennials Are Most Vulnerable to Scams | Wealth Management