Teens get scammed online more than the elderly, says new study

Teens are seen as the savviest of internet operators. However, a new study says they are getting scammed at a higher rate than the elderly.

“The scammers are getting a little bit smarter on their approach with kids,” says Breanne McClellan, Co-Founder of Social Catfish, an internet reverse search company.

According to Social Catfish seniors have lost the most money to scammers, a mind-boggling $3.1 billion last year alone.

Teens and kids came in at $210 million. What’s concerning to experts is that young people are becoming victims and losing cash at a shockingly high rate - up 2,500% over the past five years. Three times higher than the elderly.

The latest data from the FBI and FTC reveals that just because teens are more tech-savvy, does not mean they have the awareness to keep themselves safe online. Whether it’s downloading a malware app or following a fake influencer on Instagram, kids fall victim to scammers because they just don’t know any better.

“What scammers will do is create fake accounts that look just like the actual influencers account they host, like what they call a fake brand sponsored contest. They’ll ask the winner to pay a fee, a small fee, or provide their bank account information to win that prize,” says Breanne. That’s when thieves cash in.

Here are some tips you can pass along to young folks according to Social Catfish.

  • Do not send money to anyone you have never met in person.
  • The same with personal information.
  • Perform a reverse search on photos, email addresses, and phone numbers to verify a person’s identity.
  • Always use a password manager.
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