If you’re a part of Generation Z — that is, born sometime between the late 1990s and early 2010s — you or one of your friends may have been the target or victim of an online scam. In fact, according to the results of a recent Deloitte survey, members of Gen Z fall for these scams and get hacked far more frequently than the Baby Boomer generation.
Specifically, Gen Z Americans were three times as likely as boomers to fall for an online scam (16% vs. 5%). Compared to boomers, Gen Z was also twice as likely to have a social media account hacked (17% vs. 8%). Fourteen percent of Gen Z-ers surveyed said they’d had their location information misused, more than any other generation.
The cost of falling for these scams may also be surging for younger people: Social Catfish’s 2023 report on online scam found that online scam victims under 20 years old lost an estimated $8.2 million in 2017. In 2022, they lost $210 million.
The reason is simple: Younger people spend an exceptional amount of time communicating and shopping online, a Deloitte principal told Vox, which gives them more opportunities to fall victim to scams.
And even when they try to live in the moment, today’s youths can’t help but be chronically online — half of 11- to 17-year-olds in the US get anywhere from 237 to 5,000 cell phone notifications per day, almost all of which are social media alerts, according to research from Common Sense Media.
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