Millennials Hot Target For Online Fraudsters

Millennials Hot Target For Online Fraudsters


Gone are the days when baby boomers and pensioners faced the greatest risk of becoming victims of online fraud. With ecommerce and social media reigning supreme in young adults’ day-to-day lives, millennials and Gen Xers have become hotter targets for fraudsters looking to steal identities and take over online accounts.

According to a recent Cifas’ investigation, identity theft has reached “epidemic” levels with almost 500 online lives being stolen per day in just the UK alone. And while it used to be that people older than 50 were the easiest targets for criminals, fraudsters’ targeted victims are getting younger and younger: Internet users in their 30s and 40s are now more likely to be targeted than their older counterparts. What’s more, the age group of 21 to 30 saw the sharpest rise in identity theft in the first half of 2017.

Live Fast, Hacked Young

One of the reasons fraudsters are now drawn to millennials and Gen Xers is the fact that many have personal information about themselves readily available online, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Fraudsters can peek into these accounts to gather things like names, addresses, and password clues to break security questions. This last point is where things can get really ugly. For example, most people use the same password for multiple accounts (banks, retailers, telecom providers and more), so if a fraudster sees a Facebook photo of a victim and his dog, Scruffy, and is able to successfully guess that the victim’s password is Scruffy, he or she can then hijack several of the person’s online accounts and quickly begin ordering merchandise. By the time the user realizes he or she has been hacked, the damage — oftentimes quite major — has already been done.

The fast-paced technological world we live in gives fraudsters many opportunities to cheat the system, but the same fast-paced technological world has given rise to artificial intelligence that allows companies to unearth small changes in customer behavior and stop fraudulent purchases before they happen. For example, when a fraudster uses social media to correctly guess a victim’s password and then makes a purchase on one of the victim’s accounts, the transaction may look legit to the naked eye. However, RISK IDENT’s innovative software technology can instantly recognize different fraud patterns based on several combined datas and devices, as well as other subtle features of the transaction. This allows enterprises to spot account takeovers and block fraudulent transactions before the orders are even placed — which protects both the company and the customer whose information has been stolen.

For more information on account takeovers and how RISK IDENT can help thwart sophisticated fraudsters, please contact us: