Despite Falling Victim to Financial Scams at Higher Rates, Millennials Feel More Confident Than Other Generations In Their Ability to Detect Fraud
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — March 27, 2018 — First Orion, provider of data and phone call transparency solutions, today announced the results of a new study that shows millennials continue to be the most affected by phone scams.
As auto-dialing, internet calling services and other technological advancements become more accessible, it is easier than ever for scam artists to take advantage of consumers over the phone. As a result, consumers have seen scam calls skyrocket at an exponential rate in the past few years. To drill in deeper, First Orion commissioned a survey of 1,000 mobile phone users in the United States and found that one age group — millennials — remain particularly susceptible to phone scams.
First Orion found that nearly three times as many millennials experienced a financial loss from a phone scam compared to baby boomers. In a recent announcement, the IRS warned consumers that data breaches have given thieves access to millions of identity data points including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and email addresses. This gives scammers more opportunities to lull consumers into a false sense of security during scam calls, and millennials are again more likely to fall victim to this tactic. The survey found millennials were six times more likely than baby boomers to disclose personal information over the phone if the caller could verify the last four digits of their Social Security Number (SSN), a common tactic employed by phone scammers.
Millennials felt more confident than other generations in their ability to determine if an email, text or phone call was a scam, however, they experienced the highest rate of financial losses from scam calls. In fact, the results showed that nearly three times as many millennials gave away their entire SSN over the phone compared to Gen-X respondents. Additionally, 68 percent of millennial respondents did not know the correct deadline to file taxes in 2018, showing again that they are less concerned than other generations with details regarding financial security.
“Tax season poses an opportune time for sophisticated scammers to disguise their identities and target consumers. In fact, we found nearly one-third of respondents have received a scam call from someone impersonating an IRS agent,” said Scott Ballantyne, Chief Marketing Officer of First Orion. “As digital natives, millennials are often less skeptical about the repercussions of sharing their personal information and trust that financial security systems will protect them. Older generations, however, tend to be more hesitant because they better understand the ramifications of fraud and identity theft, plus, they have generally built up more wealth and therefore have more to lose.”
With stolen data comes a frustrating and often lengthy process of recovery. First Orion’s data shows that this process is only becoming more painful. In 2017, 23 percent of respondents said it took over seven months to get their stolen identity issues resolved, and that number grew to 31 percent in 2018.
“We hear from victims of identity theft daily that the process of remediating their situation is not only painful but fraught with frustration,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “We often will hear from the same victim numerous times over the course of trying to restore their identity. It can take months to years to put things back on track with a process where most of the resources or organizations that you need are not readily accessible. It’s our job to help them cut through the misinformation and get to that resolution.”
Other interesting statistics include:
- Roughly one-third of respondents have received an email, text or phone call from someone impersonating the IRS
- In 2018, respondents were four times as likely to have received a scam call within the past week compared to the same study from 2015
- Almost three-quarters of consumers would be more inclined to use a cell phone carrier that automatically blocked or identified scam calls from reaching them
- About 32 percent of respondents said they’d take the call if an IRS agent called them regarding their taxes (IRS agents do not reach out via phone)
- Over 87 percent of respondents have received a call they believed was a scam
In addition to providing PrivacyStar applications for Android and iOS users, First Orion offers FONES for carriers and service providers to deliver the highest level of confidence and flexibility in protecting subscribers from scams and other unwanted calls. FONES enables carriers to easily and seamlessly deploy settings to protect all customers from identified malicious callers, such as known scammers that use robocalling.
About First Orion
First Orion provides call transparency solutions across multiple platforms, world-class data solutions, in-network call control and its PrivacyStar powered application solutions. First Orion Network Enterprise Solutions (FONES) currently provides call control, call blocking, call transparency and call management solutions to tens of millions of mobile subscribers each day. First Orion’s CallerYD® technology tells mobile subscribers who is calling and why, empowering them with the ability to take action. With branded and white-labeled applications as well as in-network solutions, First Orion assists phone carriers in protecting mobile and fixed line subscribers from unwanted calls and identifying unknown calls, including identifying and stopping millions of scam calls every day. First Orion is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas with offices in Seattle, Dallas and London. For regular updates, please visit www.FirstOrion.com.
*First Orion surveyed 1,000 mobile phone users in the United States.
PrivacyStar and First Orion are registered trademarks of First Orion Corp. All registered or unregistered trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners.