Millennials are the leading target for fraudsters according to new data from Equifax Canada, which flagged this age group for 49 percent of all suspected fraud applications in its fraud management database last year.
Millennials (aged 18-34) are followed by Generation X (aged 35-50) at 30 percent and Baby Boomers (aged 51-69) at 18 percent. Seniors, meanwhile, represent roughly 6 percent of all fraudulent applications. On average, attempted fraudulent applications across all age groups have increased by 75 percent over the last two years.
To gauge how Canadians are trying to avoid fraud, Equifax conducted a survey of more than 1,500 consumers in Canada to see how fraud is having an impact on their lives. Compared with consumers aged 35+ (as indicated in parenthesis below), millennials scored the lowest among all age groups in taking the following preventative measures:
- Only 57 percent double-checked credit card and/or bank statements; (68 percent)
- 38 percent shredded personal and/or financial documents; (64 percent)
- 45 percent updated security passwords; (51 percent)
- 27 percent installed and/or updated security software on personal computers; (48 percent)
- 37 percent shared less about themselves on social media; (40 percent)
- 29 percent limited their use of public Wi-Fi; (35 percent)
“Younger adults are being targeted because too many make it easy for fraudsters to gain access to their personal information,” said Tara Zecevic, Equifax Canada’s Vice President of Fraud Prevention & Identity Management. “Education and better protection is needed given the fact that on average millennials are less likely to double check their credit card statements, change their passwords, and install or update security software on personal computers.”
But the news for Millennials was more positive when it comes to regularly checking their credit reports. The age group took the top spot for checking their credit report (26 percent) to help spot signs of identity theft. Older Canadians (55 and older) and college and university educated Canadians are significantly more likely (over 95 percent) to have done at least one thing to protect their personal data over the past 12 months.
The survey also found that millennials are significantly more likely to say there are some situations in which they would not report fraud (26 percent), while older Canadians are nearly always going to report fraud if they are a victim (+90 percent). Of additional concern, 41 percent indicated they didn’t believe fraudsters would target them because they didn’t have enough money.
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