A recent study by consumer credit reporting agency Equifax Inc. revealed that the demographic most susceptible to fraud was the millennial sector, in defiance of common stereotypes that seniors are more liable to get swindled.
The survey found that approximately 50 per cent of suspect credit applications last year involved millennials and Generation Y consumers, ranging from 16 to 36 years old. The agency processes around 15 million applications annually in Canada, with 1 per cent of this figure being suspected fraud attempts.
Equifax officials attributed this significant proportion of young fraud victims to a still-developing understanding of the internet, even though this segment is considered the most “wired” generation ever.
“They are the more sharing, less caring generation. They think they are invincible and share way too much information online,” Equifax Canada chief privacy officer John Russo told the Financial Post
Russo noted that fraud is often perpetrated against youngsters via phishing scams and fake in-app purchases.
“They can be caught with text or email. They get something like ‘opportunity to work from home for $1,000 a day or free downloadable ring tones.’ The younger generation just automatically clicks. They are playing something and it says ‘buy now’ and it’s a fraudulent site looking for information to get credit,” he explained.
The survey also found that Generation X consumers comprised 29 per cent of fraudulent application claims, with Baby Boomers coming in at 17 per cent. Approximately 53 per cent of Canadians reported having experienced financial fraud at some point in their lives.