What age group is the most likely to fall victim to fraud? If you guessed seniors, you’d be wrong. According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers aged 30-39 are the most likely to report that they have been victims of fraud.
The FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network maintains an interactive graphic that visually shows how fraud affects each age group differently. Data comes from fraud reports submitted directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the Better Business Bureau, industry members, and non-profit organizations. Last year the Consumer Sentinel Network received more than 5.7 million fraud reports.
Here are just a few of the findings related to fraud and age:
- The most common contact method for fraud victims aged 70+ was a phone call. The most common contact method for consumers aged 30-69 was a website or app.
- Although older consumers had fewer fraud reports, when they lost money, the dollar amount lost was higher for those aged 60 and above.
- For consumers aged 70+, the most common way of paying the scammer was by gift card or reload card. For those aged 30-39, the most common payment method was cryptocurrency.
The FTC’s interactive graphic shows that consumers aged 30-39 are the most likely to report they’ve been victims of crime, while older consumers lose more money if they are scammed. (Source: FTC Consumer Sentinel Network)
For consumers aged 80 and over, the most common scam was business imposters, the most common payment method was a gift card or reload card, and the most common contact method was a phone call. (Source: FTC Consumer Sentinel Network)
Fighting back against fraud
While fraudsters use a variety of means to contact their victims, the phone call remains a standard — especially for scamming older adults. So, what can be done?
Carriers can protect their customers from scam calls by adding Hiya Protect, which blocks fraud calls and labels spam calls with high accuracy, without blocking important calls. Enterprises can help their customers feel safe answering the phone by adding Hiya Connect, which enables businesses to display their company name, logo, and reason for the call on the recipient’s mobile phone. Individuals can check with their phone carrier to see if it offers network-level spam/scam protection and, if not, download the Hiya mobile app.