Online Financial Fraud Doesn’t Have an Age Bias

Posted April 13, 2018

Online Financial Fraud Doesn’t Have an Age Bias

Who’s more likely to fall victim to online financial fraud – a millennial or a senior?

The answer just might surprise you.

Victims All the Same

According to a new report from the Federal Trade Commission, millennials (those aged 20 to 29) reported being victims of online financial fraud more than any other age group, including those in the 70-to-79 and 80-and-over age groups. Twenty-somethings made up 40 percent of fraud loss reports last year compared to 18 percent for the two older groups.

It is somewhat puzzling to see a group that was practically raised with the internet falling victim to these online scams so often. Is it because millennials are so comfortable with the online world that they have become a bit lax when sharing information?

Whatever the reason, millennials are proving to be a convenient target. But, that doesn’t mean grandma and grandpa are in the clear.

While this older generation might not get scammed as often, when they do fall victim to online financial fraud, it is usually for a lot more money. According to the same report, the median loss for 70-to-79-year-olds was $621, while the 80-and-up group were hit for a median total of $1,092 — the highest median of all.

The reason? Well, aside from typically having more money to spend than the younger generation, seniors tend to fall for scams around higher-ticket items, such as travel, vacations, timeshares, mortgage relief and debt management.

Who Are You?

Regardless of one’s age or familiarity with the online world, it is becoming more difficult to spot potential scams as fraudsters and cybercriminals create more sophisticated schemes, seemingly on a daily basis.

Not only does this leave customers vulnerable, but it can also put businesses in jeopardy. Each incident of online financial fraud not only means lost revenue and costly chargebacks, but also potential damage to the customer relationship.

Businesses operating in the digital economy can no longer assume that a visitor to their site is legitimate. Doing so puts your business – and your customers – in harm’s way.

The key is to uncover the true identity of the individual on the other end of a transaction.

In the anonymous world of the internet, that’s easier said than done. And, when you add in all of the data breaches and identity fraud so prevalent today, this task becomes even more difficult, leaving organizations scrambling for a solution.

But, discovering the identity of an online user isn’t impossible – if you know where and how to look. Within each online transaction lies hundreds of pieces of information – information that can be used to establish an individual’s online identity. Additional information from thousands of companies and millions of transactions makes that digital identity much more accurate.

This is something we have been working on for more than a decade, and has resulted in the world’s largest repository of digital identities.

With more than 1.4 billion identities, businesses get a clear picture of who they’re transacting with online, and fuller context behind the transaction and the risks associated with it. Trusted customers are quickly recognized and free to transact, while fraudsters are identified and stopped before they can wreak havoc on your business.

Proceed Safely

According to the FTC report, fraudsters and cybercriminals made away with $905 million in 2017. With returns like that, it’s logical to assume that your personal data and finances will continue to be a target, whether you’re a millennial, a senior or somewhere in between.

Then again, if businesses are finally able to accurately identify users, it will be a safe online experience for every generation – even those yet to come.

To learn more about how digital identity can help businesses differentiate legitimate customers from fraudsters, read this exclusive Solution Brief.

Alisdair Faulkner

Alisdair Faulkner

Chief Identity Officer, Business Services, LexisNexis Risk Solutions

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