FTC data: Younger consumers more likely to report fraud

Consumers under the age of 60 are significantly more likely to report being the victim of fraud, according to data from the Federal Trade Commission’s most recent Consumer Protection Data spotlight released yesterday. Based on data reported to the FTC for all of last year, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Z young adults (collectively ages 18-59) were 34% more likely than older adults (those age 60 and over) to report losing money to fraud, and 86% are more likely to report losing money to online shopping scams than older adults. The median individual reported fraud loss by people 18-59 was $500 in 2021.

Consumers under 60 years old most often said scams originated from posts on social media. The spotlight also indicated that adults younger than 60 are more than four times more likely than older adults to report losing money to an investment scam, and that the majority of those losses happened in scams involving some form of cryptocurrency investments. While older adults were less likely to report losing money to fraud, those 70 and over reported much higher median individual losses, with the median reported loss of $800 for people 70-79 and $1,500 for those age 80 and older. Older adults were about five times more likely to report losing money on tech support scams than younger adults and were more than twice as likely to report losing money on a prize, sweepstakes or lottery scam.

The ABA Foundation offers consumer tips and educational materials through free national programs, including Safe Banking for Seniors and Get Smart About Credit. Consumers can find additional resources in the “Protect Yourself and Your Money” section of aba.com, which features information on avoiding scams, such as peer-to-peer payment scams and charity scams. Bankers can access free lesson plans, social shares, videos and tip sheets by registering at aba.com/FinEd.