Mobile Payments, Other Fraud More Likely to Strike the Young

March 7, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Admittedly, younger people do things somewhat differently than their older cohorts do. Balancing a checkbook or monitoring bank statements isn’t exactly high on the list. That may be a point to change, however, in light of a recent Equifax study sent our way that says those under 35 are actually more likely to end up as victims of fraud.

It turns out that, according to the Equifax study, young people are statistically less likely to monitor their bank balances, a point which exposes them to a greater fraud risk. The study found that the average British person checks his or her bank balance either daily or weekly in 64 percent of cases. Meanwhile, for those aged 18-34, that kind of diligence is seen for just 45 percent of cases. Those over 55 do so in 80 percent of cases.

What’s more, online security practices are much less sharp than might be expected; only 32 percent regularly change passwords, and just 42 percent are “careful about sharing personal details on social media.” That’s about as vague as it can get without being a parody, but still. Again, there’s a huge dichotomy at work between the old and the young, as over 55s are 53 percent cautious about sharing details, while just 25 percent of the 18-to-34 crowd can say likewise.

Some here might say that the Equifax study is badly oversimplified. Of course over-55s are more diligent about checking their bank balances and altering their passwords; they have more time, by and large. Over-55s are the largest contingent of retirees around. Changing passwords is also fine and well, but for the younger set who often have many more passwords, it’s little surprise that they often stay the same the longest. It’s also somewhat surprising that Equifax didn’t seem to account for use rates here; over-55s are probably the least likely to be using mobile payments and similar tools anyway, despite some recent gains we’ve seen, so that would by necessity make the younger set more at risk.

Still, this is quite a bit to take in, and there’s certainly nothing uncalled for about greater diligence in protecting our own accounts. The Equifax study just serves to show what more we can do.