Having grown up in today’s digital era being educated on the dangers of the Internet, most of us would most likely claim, “I’m smarter than those scams, I know how to spot one when I see one!” Same. Little do I realise that I actually have been tricked in the most sly and subtle ways of the new breed of scammers. Here’s why millennials are still getting fooled
Firstly, millennials spend ridiculous amounts of time on their phone. According to eMarketer, the average millennial spends at least 4 hours on their phone on an average weekday. Most of this time is dedicated to texting. It has been inbred to millennials to flip their phone over or to whip it out of their pocket once a familiar ring beckons them to check the message or pick up the call. It is no wonder why this would be the primary mode of attack for scammers who penetrate the digital world of millennials and use the method of “robocalls”. This happens when your phone reflects that a U.S. number is calling you, but after one ring, hangs up. The confused victim would then call the number back, which happens to be an expensive international call. A study by Truecaller shows that “27 million Americans lost approximately $7.4 billion in phone scams last year”.
As mentioned earlier, millennials love to stay connected, wherever and whenever they can. This is exactly why certain coffee shops, malls and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. While this is indeed a good marketing tool and there is nothing wrong with using public Wi-Fi itself, one should be careful about what you do on these unsecured network. Hackers and tech-whizzes can access private information when you make transaction while online shopping or even logging in to mobile bank accounts or even personal accounts that require passwords. An open door allows access in both directions, and so often, millennials fall victim to this, not exempting myself.
The worst kind of scams are those that manipulate the goodness of one’s character to gain monetary means. While millennials are not the only ones to get scammed by such means, it happens more so to them because of the lack of healthy skepticism that Generation X has. Coupled with this is the laziness that comes into researching the legitimacy, cause, and budget of some of these “charitable organisations”. As a result, scammers use their increasingly subtle ways of exploiting victims with their money.
No matter how prepared you think you are for the next sly scheme or how well you can outsmart a scammer, there will always be ways that they can outwit you. Acknowledging that the online world is a dangerous and scary place is the best mentality you can have in fighting cyber dangers.
feature image credits: https://www.trapcall.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/no-caller-id-iphone-.jpg