The first isabelo smart bench installed in Cape Town may be a benchmark for internet crime too. Picture: David Ritchie
JOHANNESBURG - A recent survey has revealed that millennials are more inclined to fall victim to phone and online scams, as a pose to their counterparts from previous generations

The data, released by the Federal Trade Commission, showed that 40 percent of US millennial's, aged between 20-29 who reported falling victim to fraud last year said this it also cost them money.

Furthermore, when victims lose money, younger persons usually tend to lose more money at once compared to people above 55. The percentages are 25% compared to 3%.

Of the fraud victims over the age of 70, only 18 percent admitted to having lost money . The research interestingly suggests that the older the age of the mark, the bigger the amount ripped off.

The FTC report is based its compilations for 2017, stemming from 2.7 million consumer reports which were submitted directly to the agency or indirectly filed with law enforcement and organizations like the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

While submissions were down 10 percent last year, money lost to fraud increased 7 percent to $905 million, the FTC said.

Top of the list of scams were phony debt collections, which remained the No. 1 consumer complaint (23 percent of the total), followed by identity theft (14 percent) and imposter scams (13 percent).

Detailing the various scams, the FTC defined imposter scams as "someone pretending to be a government official, tech support representative, a loved one in trouble or someone else in order to get consumers to give the scammer money".

Despite ranking third in frequency according to consumer complains, imposter scams have cost FTC-complaining consumers more money — $328 million — than any other type of fraud.

The report also highlights wire transfers served as the preferred payment mechanism for fraudsters, these account for nearly half of complaints submitted to the FTC that identified a form of payment.


- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE