Better Business Bureau

Beware, Younger People at High Risk of Falling for Scams

NBC Responds looked at how millennials can protect themselves from financial fraud

NBC Universal, Inc.

Many people assume the elderly are the primary target of scams, but now the younger generations are being duped just as much. Millennials and Generation Z might not expect that latest text to be a scam attempt.

That's what happened to Miyana Evans, a recent UCLA graduate, who got a text from what appeared to be her bank. It said her account had been compromised. A few minutes later she said she also got a call.

"I said I'm happy you called, let's get it worked out," said Evans. "They said they would go ahead and walk me through the process of protecting my account."

The person on the phone told Miyana that a $3,500 transfer from her account using Zelle was "pending" and she needed to reverse the transaction. She was told to do that by Zelleing the money back to herself on a brand new account."

"They said they could stop it if I acted now," said Evans. "I'm thinking let's get this done, let's get this done."

But it wasn't her bank, instead it was a scammer. That $3,500 she transferred was missing. Evans isn't alone either. The Better Business Bureau says Millennials and Gen Z'ers are more likely than other age groups to fall for scams.

"The scammers have become more sophisticated to target millennials who are constantly online," said Steve McFarland with the BBB. "The batting average of millennials is greater because they're online all the time and the majority of scams are online."

McFarland says younger generations fall for banking scams because they're new to the banking system and don't always understand how they work. They are also prime targets for scams involving apartment rentals, jobs, or online purchases.

Zelle could not tell our colleague Randy Mac at NBC Los Angeles where the money went. It does warn customers that if they receive a call about fraud from their bank, they should hang up and call them back using the number on the back of their card or statement.

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