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Research Finds Young People Most Likely to Be Scammed

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Challenging Perceptions of Vulnerability and Digital Savvy 

Contrary to popular belief, young adults aged 18 to 29 are the most susceptible to scams, experiencing more cyber-attacks than older individuals. NAB research reveals that this demographic is less concerned about becoming victims, despite being more likely to encounter scams. Young people often trust their digital skills to avoid scams, but data shows that 34% of men and 38% of women in this age group have fallen victim to cyber-attacks or scams. 

Scams Across Age Groups 

While older Australians are more vulnerable to investment scams, young people face different types of fraud. Phishing and online shopping scams tend to affect young adults more often than older individuals. Despite their vulnerability, half of the young men surveyed claimed to have good or very good cybersecurity knowledge, with one-third of young women feeling the same. This confidence may not align with their actual understanding of risks and threats in cyberspace. 

Underestimating the Threat 

The global community is only beginning to grasp the sophistication and persistence of criminal groups behind scams. Scammers often target victims multiple times, even posing as legitimate companies that help recover losses. 

The Evolving Nature of Scams 

Scams can take various forms, with some criminals selling stolen credit card information on the dark web instead of withdrawing funds directly. This makes it harder for victims to realise they’ve been targeted. 

Protection Tips for All 

To stay vigilant against online scams, consider the following: 

  • Always verify the sender’s identity in emails and messages. 
  • Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading attachments. 
  • Use strong, unique passwords for different accounts. 
  • Enable multi-factor authentication for added security. 
  • Keep software and devices updated to the latest versions. 

A Rising Concern for Society 

As more organisations fall victim to cyber-attacks, the likelihood of individuals being targeted also increases. Recognising that scams impact a broad section of society, everyone needs to be vigilant in protecting themselves. 

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.

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