Gen Z the fastest growing group of scam victims

author-avatar By on March 10,2020
Gen Z the fastest growing group of scam victims

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Zoomers - those aged under 25 - are falling victim to scams at a faster rate than older generations, most notably for fake event tickets and online shops.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed Gen Z lost more than $5 million to scams in 2019, and reported cases in that age group are increasing faster than older generations.

Just 7.15% - around 12,000 - of cases reported to Scamwatch were made by those under 25, however this figure is an 11% increase compared to 2018.

Gen Z numbers also increased 10% more than any other age group over the same period. 

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said scammers are now targeting platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat, and even the savviest Zoomers can fall victim.

“Scammers don’t discriminate based on age and the wide range of scams reported by this age group is concerning,” Ms Rickard said.

“Young people may think they are tech savvy, but scammers are adapting and we expect to see more scams on newer platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok.”

According to the ACCC, the most common platforms for scam reports were Facebook and Instagram, with 'typical' scams involving fake online stores and fake tickets to events.

Online shopping scams were the most popular type of scam, making up 14% of reports, with almost 12% of losses among those under 25.

Event ticket scams targeted at Gen Z are new age, with many demanding payment via bank transfer, as well as through gift cards and Bitcoin.

Ms Rickard said a growing concern was 'sextortion' scams, where scammers claim to have intimate images or video of the victim and ask them to pay up.

“In many cases if you receive a sextortion threat from a stranger claiming they have compromising images or video footage of you, these images don’t actually exist, so delete the message," she said.

"If you are concerned, you can contact the e-Safety Commissioner."

Younger children were also at risk through games such as Fortnite via unlocked achievements or special items in exchange for money.

“By targeting children, scammers could obtain personal and banking information from the individual’s parents,” she said.

“We encourage parents and guardians to ensure children do not share personal or banking details online, and if they think a scammer has gained access to their personal information contact their financial institution as soon as possible.

“You should also contact the platform on which you were scammed and inform them of the circumstances surrounding the scam."

The warning comes after it was reported dating and romance scams cost Australians more than $28 million in 2019.


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author-avatar
Harrison joined Savings in 2020. He is a journalist with more than four years of experience, with previous stints at News Corp and financial comparison site Canstar. With a keen interest in personal finance, Harrison is passionate about helping consumers make more informed financial decisions.

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