November 29, 2023

Online scams. When you hear this term, you often think of the not-so-tech-savvy senior citizens who more often than not fall for them. But you might be surprised to learn that teenagers-a generation considered far more technologically inclined-have fallen for these scams more often in the past few years.

According to CNBC, cases of cyber-fraud involving people aged 20 years or younger have risen 156% over the past three years. This is a considerable jump compared to 112% increase when talking about the elderly.

Cyber fraud was able to steal a massive $71 million from youngsters last year. While this doesn’t even come close to how much older folks lost to internet scams in 2021 ($966 million), it is still considered nonetheless alarming.

So how are young people falling for these scams on the web? Here are some explanations.

Young People Are ‘More Trusting’ Online

According to the research firm Social Catfish, this all stems from teens being far more comfortable baring themselves online. Company president David McClellan says that this makes them a bit more trusting of internet strangers than normal, opening them up to cyber fraud victims.

This trusting nature also gets them in trouble with far worse people lurking on the web. This vulnerability is deep-rooted in the developing brains of adolescents, which Psychology Today says have a “highly malleable” prefrontal cortex.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for controlling impulse…

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