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They may have been raised on the internet, but Gen Z users appear to lack the street smarts their predecessors learned.

SCIENCE & TECH: Gen Z more likely to fall prey to online scams than boomers

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Try listening to your elders for a change.

Know-it-all Gen Zers are a whopping three times more likely to fall prey to online scams than their boomer grandparents, experts are warning.

Often heard boasting about being raised on the internet, the younger generation is increasingly unsafe there, with the FBI reporting a 2,000 percent increase in losses due to scams affecting those under 20 years of age — jumping from an estimated $8.2 million in 2017 to $210 million in 2022.

Born anywhere between the end of the 1990s and the early 2010s, Gen Z digital natives are said to be easy prey for bad actors, who take advantage of their love of social media and online shopping, MLive first reported.

According to the Michigan Department of Attorney General, the younger set is being bombarded with phishing emails and ads from fake web sites targeted to their likes and desires.


They may have been raised on the internet, but Gen Z users appear to lack the street smarts their predecessors learned.
Getty Images

According to a 2022 report from the National Cybersecurity Alliance, they’re frequently falling prey to identity theft, account hacking and romance scams, too — once again, in numbers well ahead of the olds.

Michigan’s Attorney General also warned of phony job offers and promises of career advancement that hinge on the applicant coughing up dough for mandatory training or equipment — something an actual employer would not do.

The AG’s office warned younger users to take online security more seriously as well, citing that Gen Zers rarely use two-factor authentification on apps — this and a habit of reusing passwords leaves them more vulnerable to scams, they said.


Romance scams and other online shenanigans are reportedly affecting gullible Gen Z users in record numbers.
Romance scams and other online shenanigans are reportedly affecting gullible Gen Z users in record numbers.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A survey conducted by Deloitte, first reported on by Vox, showed that Gen Z was twice as likely as a boomer to have their social accounts hacked — 17 percent compared to 8 percent. Also, 14 percent of Gen Zers pollled admitted that sharing their location information on posts had led to misuse.



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