In this installment of “In Baby Boomers’ Defense”, Baby Boomers may be the best target of online scammers due to a trusting nature and financial stability.
- Baby boomers are more susceptible to scams and fraud due to their trusting nature, which scammers can exploit by building a relationship with the victim before exploiting them.
- Scammers may target baby boomers for financial scams due to their relative financial stability and exploit their vulnerability by offering investment opportunities or financial products that promise high returns with little risk.
My mother’s disinterest in technology beyond communicating with the grandkids comes in handy, especially when it comes to online scammers. But that could not be said of many Baby Boomers out there. They know how to spot scammers over the phone, but scams through written media are incomprehensible to them. And while everyone is at risk of getting scammed, fraudsters seem to perceive that generation as most vulnerable and ripe for the scamming.
Baby boomers tend to place trust in others. This is weird considering they have seen the worst this world has to offer. It is, in my opinion, due to a number of factors, including the generational values with which many grew up, such as the importance of community, social responsibility, and cooperation. So, boomers are more susceptible to scams and fraud that rely on building a relationship with the victim before exploiting them. Here, scammers may use emotional appeals to make their victims feel as though they are part of a shared community or cause. We all know about the “Nigerian Prince” email scam. According to a CNBC report from 2019, that scam was still raking over $700,000 a year.
Baby Boomers lived in what the internet likes to call the “Fu** Around” era (or mess around?). They got first dibs in the housing markets and other financial aspects that we, the youngsters, struggle to secure. So, out of all the generations, they are the most financially stable. As a result, scammers can rely on them having the money they seek rather than try to scam a Gen Z who’s struggling to enter the workforce. Most of them are either about to enter retirement or already are retired, and they look for ways to supplement their income. Scammers may exploit this vulnerability by offering investment opportunities or financial products that promise high returns with little risk. They may also use tactics to pressure their victims into making quick decisions about their finances without fully thinking through the situation.
As much as I hate to admit it, online scammers nowadays are smart, for the most part. So, they know which scams to run on each generation to achieve their end goal. If you try to scam a Gen Z through a phone call: Good Luck, I don’t think they are even aware that their phones can make calls, let alone receive them. So, yeah, most scammers will study their victims, and to boomers’ detriment, they live their lives online. But whether they are deliberately ignoring the danger or just blissfully ignorant of it is up to debate.
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