A new study reveals that millennials are the most vulnerable targets for online and phone fraud.
Mobile communications company Truecaller found that among millennials, 17 percent of women and a whopping 38 percent of men said they’d been victimized. That compares to 11 percent of all Americans who lost money in a phone scam in the previous 12 months.
Furthermore, while scammers previously targeted landlines, 74 percent of scams occurred on mobile phones, an increase of more than 50 percent compared to the previous year. One reason for this rise is that many consumers are dropping their landlines.
The study also found that:
•64% of the adults surveyed admit they have not answered an unknown number
•Spam calls cost Americans $7.4 billion in 2015 – about 3.5 times the amount of advertising sales generated by the Super Bowl in last decade.
•Americans receive 15.8 spam calls (cell and/or landline) and 6.3 spam text messages in an average month.
What did Americans do after losing money to a scam? According to the study:
•39% signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry
•34% changed phone number
•32% used “reverse look-up” or searched phone number to try and identify caller
•30% cancelled credit card or changed account numbers
•27% signed up for credit protection/monitoring
•25% contacted phone carrier
•24% reported it to authorities (police, FCC, FTC)
•21% checked phone bill
•20% downloaded a spam blocker and 19% downloaded a caller ID app
•9% did nothing
In addition, Spam calls/texts elicit a range of emotions, the survey found:
•Political robocalls or robotexts: Annoyance (56%); Frustration (26%); Enraged (15%); Afraid (2%); Helpless (6%)*
•Unknown number or anonymous user: Annoyance (52%); Frustration (26%); Enraged (15%); Afraid (11%); Helpless (7%)
•Live telemarketer: Annoyance (64%); Frustration (29%); Enraged (19%); Afraid (3%); Helpless (6%)
•Automated telemarketer/Robocaller: Annoyance (65%); Frustration (33%); Enraged (21%); Afraid (2%); Helpless (8%)
•Suspected Scammer or Fraudster: Annoyance (57%); Frustration (33%); Enraged (31%); Afraid (13%); Helpless (6%)