Just in time for Older Americans Month, one new study found that older adults are spending just as much time on their smartphones as their younger counterparts. Meanwhile, a separate study reports that younger adults, and especially young men, are more likely than their elders to fall victim to phone scams.
In a May 6 post for Forbes.com, writer Nicole Fisher explored recent research on smartphone usage among "Baby Boomers" (those born between 1946 and 1964) and "Millennials" (born between 1981 and 1995). Both generations were found to spend about five hours a day on their smartphones, with usage patterns differing by degree in areas such as texting vs. emailing.
When it comes to avoiding phone scams, Boomers seem more savvy than their younger counterparts. In a separate Harris poll, published a few weeks earlier by the app developer True Caller, men ages 18-34 were identified as "most likely to fall victim and lose money to a phone scam," while older Americans aged 64 and over were found to be the least susceptible overall.
That's encouraging news for older Americans, but don't expect the scammers to quit. There are any number of ways for malicious callers to target these and other demographics with scam scripts designed to steal money or valuable personal information that can be sold for fraudulent use.
We have several web resources to help you fight back:
- FCC Consumer Help Center: To learn more about recent scam calls, browse our consumer guides or file a complaint with the FCC.
- The robocalls consumer guide, includes helpful tips for avoiding illegal robocalls, with links to call-blocking apps and services.
- The spoofing consumer guide has additional tips related specifically to caller ID spoofing, and includes an animated video that explains what you should watch out for and what actions you can take to avoid being scammed.