BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The stereotype of older people as scam victims is not always right. A new study out says more millennials are actually more vulnerable to scams than baby boomers.
Melanie McGovern with the Better Business Bureau say it’s called optimism bias. That means, we all think others are more vulnerable, and scammers count on that.
She said, “If you think you’re too smart for a scammer, you may not be putting up the walls you should be putting up to see whether it’s a scam or not.”
Now a new study through the BBB says millennials are more likely to be targeted.
Of those reporting scams, 89 percent of seniors, meaning over 65 years old, recognized the scam in time with only 11% losing money.
Meanwhile, those ages 18 to 24 more than three times as many failed to recognize the scam and 34% reported losing money.
McGovern said, “With Gen X-ers, we didn’t grow up with online shopping and we’re more skeptical or we prefer to use other methods. But, with millennials, you’re not thinking, “is this website secure?”
The BBB says scams affect 1 in 4 North American households each year, totaling $50 billion dollars in losses.
Most of the time it happens with online sales and advertising.
McGovern said, “People are just searching through a search engine without checking to see if it’s legitimate.”
But there are ways to protect yourself. McGovern said, “Make yourself familiar with the scams that are out there. Look for those tell-tale signs of a legitimate website as opposed to a website where there’s no security they might high jack our logo. We’ve seen that more often than not.”
If a site has the BBB logo, it should take you directly to the BBB website, and will show you the company’s rating. That is how you can guarantee this site is legitimate.