Scammers targeting and finding success among younger age groups

Aug 26, 2021, 3:19 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Which generation gets scammed the most? Would you think baby boomers? Generation X? It couldn’t be millennials or Generation Z, right?

Well, a new study found that it’s actually the youngest consumers, in their late teens to about 20 years old, that are the fastest-growing group getting ripped off.

It’s true: The elderly are scammed a lot more, but the fact that scammers are targeting young people so often is shocking.

The site SocialCatfish.com found that in 2017, the bad guys made more than 9,000 people ages 20 and younger victims.

Last year that number shot up to more than 23,000 — the largest increase of any age group — and Utahns lost over $47 million to scammers.

Here are the top five scams young adults are falling for this year:

Job scams — anything that asks for payment or personal information in an application process is bogus and is trying to drain your bank account.

Instagram influencer scams — pay a fee to win a prize from your favorite social personality, only the accounts are fake.

Romance scams – aka good old-fashioned catfishing, scammers they ask for money after “falling in love.”

Sextortion scams — It’s blackmail after the exchange of illicit photos. Never send photos like that.

Online shopping scams — they use fake websites to offer phony, too-good-to-be-true prices.

The bottom line is that you should never assume that you’re too smart for the crooks out there — people of all ages fall for some pretty sophisticated scams every day.

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Scammers targeting and finding success among younger age groups