Millenials are more vulnerable to scams than Baby Boomers, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust said Wednesday.
Marketplace scams affect one in four North American households each year, and losses are estimated at $50 billion, yet most consumers believe they are invulnerable.
The research, Cracking the Invulnerability Illusion: Stereotypes, Optimism Bias, and the
Way Forward for Marketplace Scam Education, is based on a survey of more than 2,000
adults in the U.S. and Canada.
Download “Cracking the Invulnerability Illusion” at BBB.org/TruthAboutScams.
“We’ve bought into stereotypes about scam victims – they’re usually seen as vulnerable and
elderly, or gullible and poorly educated,” said the paper’s co-author Emma Fletcher,
product manager with the BBB Institute, Council of Better Business Bureau’s foundation. “These stereotypes arestrongly held… and they are wrong. We are all at risk, but younger and more educated individuals are actually the most likely to be scammed.”
“Optimism bias – the idea that we all think other people are more vulnerable than we are –
is associated with risk-taking and failure to heed precautionary advice,” said co-author
Rubens Pessanha, CBBB director of marketing research and insights.
“Seniors may be the one group that does not suffer from optimism bias when it comes to scams. They’ve heard, loud and clear, that they are at risk. Seniors may very well be more scam savvy than
others. They are also less impulsive buyers than younger consumers, and less likely to be
making purchases online where so many scams take place.” Pessanha said.