Not so tech-savvy? Growth in young people being scammed online – Digital Journal | #lovescams | #datingapps

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A new study looking at the U.S. population has found tech-savvy teens are falling for online scams at a higher rate than seniors. In the last five years, money lost by victims aged 20 years-old and younger grew nearly 2,500 percent from 2017 to 2022 compared to 805 percent for seniors.

Victims under 20 lost $8.2 million in 2017 compared to $210 million in 2022. Seniors remain by far the most victimized group overall losing $3.1 billion in 2022, but the surge of young victims speaks to the growing sophistication of scammers. Many of these scams involve identity theft.

Social Catfish – a ‘reverse search’ technology company – has released a study on the State of Internet Scams 2023 using 2023 data from the FBI IC3 and FTC.

Overall, a record $10.3 billion was lost to online scams in 2022, up from $6.9 billion.

Young people should remain vigilant when they socialize, work, date and play games online.

The five common scams targeting teens in 2023 include:

Social Media Influencer Scam

Teens idolize their favourite influencers. Scammers will create fake accounts that look just like the actual influencers account. They host a fake brand-sponsored contest and ask the “winner” to pay a fee or provide their bank account to win the prize.

In terms of how to avoid this type of scale, the recommendation is to only follow the official influencer account, fake accounts have fewer followers. Never send money or bank information to anyone you do not know.

Romance Scams

Scammers steal photos of good-looking people and target young, vulnerable people online. They make the victim fall in love and begin asking for money.

To avid this, it is recommended to perform a reverse search to confirm their identity. If they will not video chat or meet, they are a scammer.

Sextortion Scams

Teens use smart phones for sexting which has now led to sextortion. Scammers pose as an attractive person; they send an explicit image and ask for one in return. Once received, the scammers threaten to make the photo public if a ransom is not paid. Many teen sextortion victims take their own lives.

To avoid this scam, it is best never to send explicit images online or by phone. If the person you are falling for will not meet or video chat think twice before sending anything.

Online Gaming In-App Purchases

When online gaming, players can make in-app purchases to enhance the gaming experience. Scammers are tricking children into giving credit card information and downloading malware for nonexistent rewards.

Online Shopping

Fake websites are created that look like an online store selling items at a huge discount. If you buy, the item never arrives, they pocket the money and steal your credit card and personal information for future online theft.

To avoid this issue, it is important to make sure the website is not full of typos. If the “customer service” email is “” or “” that is a red flag. Research the company.

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