The FTC’s latest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight shows that millennials (ages 20-39) are twice as likely to report losing money to online shopping fraud than their older counterparts. Online shopping fraud reports include complaints about items that are never delivered or are not as they were advertised.
The top five frauds to which millennials report losing money are online shopping frauds, business imposters, government imposters, fake check scams and romance scams.
In addition, millennials are more likely to report fraud losses on scams that promise to fix debt-related problems or that promise money through jobs, investments or business opportunities. And millennials are 93 percent more likely than people over 40 to report losing money to fake check scams, which often look like a way to earn money.
While all age groups have lost money to fraud, the average individual amount millennials report losing to fraud is $400, which is much lower than what people 40+ report. However, millennials have reported losing nearly $450 million to fraud in just the past two years. Of that, online shopping accounted for $71 million in reported losses, and government imposter scams were close behind, with $61 million in reported losses.
Last month, a joint study by the Better Business Bureau, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Stanford Center on Longevity found that consumers are more likely to become victims on social media and online marketplaces than over the phone.
Craigslist and eBay are among the most profitable platforms for fraudsters, attracting people with authentic-looking ads for concert tickets, used cars and more, the article said. The average loss was $600. People also fell prey to fake emails, with 42 percent of respondents engaging and 13 percent losing money.