Which Age Group is Most Affected by Scams in The US?

different Age Group

Contrary to popular belief, scams do not discriminate based on age. While you may assume that older adults are the primary targets of scams, reports to the FTC's Consumer Sentinel reveal a different reality: individuals of all ages can fall victim to fraudulent schemes. Surprisingly, recent data from Statista indicates that consumers between the ages of 30 and 39 are the most susceptible to scams.

Although there are nuances to consider, the overarching message remains clear: scams impact individuals across all age groups, albeit in varying ways.

scam statistics by age
Source: Statista

30 to 39 year-olds

According to the FTC's interactive graphic, consumers aged 30-39 reported a median loss of $460 and 182 lost reports per 100,000 people in 2023. The most popular ways for this age group to be contacted by scammers were through social media (33%) and websites or apps (28%). Their payment methods were credit cards (24%), debit cards (20%), and payment apps or services (17%).

According to a report by Sky News, individuals aged 34 and under are approximately twice as likely to be targeted by financial scams compared to older age groups in the United Kingdom. The findings of an Opinium poll conducted for online bank Marcus by Goldman Sachs reveal that around 20% of 18 to 34-year-olds have fallen victim to scammers, in contrast to approximately 10% of those over the age of 35.

40 to 49 year-olds

In 2023, American fraud victims between the ages of 40 and 49 reported losing a median of $450 and 169 lost reports per 100,000 people. When it comes to how these folks were contacted by scammers, social media was the top choice (31%), followed by websites or apps (28%), and phishing email (16%). When it came to paying scammers, credit cards were the most common method (27%), followed by debit cards (19%), payment apps or services (15%), cryptocurrency (13%), and bank or wire transfers (11%). The data shows that people aged 40 to 49 fell victim to online shopping scams, business imposter scams, investment scams, government imposter scams, and romance scams.

70 to 79 year-olds

American fraud victims between the ages of 70 and 79 reported a median loss of $450 and 158 lost reports per 100,000 individuals in 2023. The primary method of contact used by scammers targeting this demographic was phone calls, accounting for 23% of reported incidents, followed by social media at 17%, websites or apps at 17%, online ads or pop-ups at 13%, and email at 10%.

When it came to payment methods, credit cards were the most commonly used at 30%, with gift cards or reload cards following at 19%, debit cards at 14%, and bank transfers at 10%. The data indicates that individuals aged 70 to 79 were most susceptible to online shopping scams, business imposter scams, tech support scams, government imposter scams, and romance scams.


60 to 69 year-olds

American consumers aged 60-69 reported a median loss of $500 and 149 lost reports per 100,000 individuals In 2023. The primary methods of contact utilized by scammers targeting this demographic included social media (24%), websites or apps (21%), phone calls (16%), online ads or pop-ups (10%), emails (8%), and text messages (5%). Payment to scammers was most commonly made through credit cards (28%), debit cards (18%), gift cards or reload cards (15%), payment apps or services (10%), bank transfers (10%), and cryptocurrency (9%).

Individuals in this age group were found to be particularly vulnerable to the same types of scams as those in the 40 to 49-year-old demographic.


20 to 29 year-olds

According to a BBB Risk Report, the financial losses reported by individuals aged 18-24 were on par with those reported by adults aged 65 and older in 2020. While these digital natives possess a deep understanding of technology and can adeptly navigate the latest social media platforms, they are also susceptible to falling victim to cunning scammers.

Data from the FTC's interactive graphic reveals that consumers between the ages of 20 and 29 reported a median loss of $480 and 156 fraud reports per 100,000 individuals in 2023. The primary methods of contact used by scammers targeting this age group were social media (39%), websites or apps (24%), and phone calls (8%). In terms of payment methods, individuals aged 20 to 29 most commonly fell prey to scams involving payment apps or services (24%), debit cards (21%), credit cards (16%), cryptocurrency (11%), and bank transfers (11%).

The data further indicates that individuals aged 20 to 29 were particularly vulnerable to a variety of scams, including job scams, business imposter scams, investment scams, government imposter scams, and online shopping scams.

50 to 59 year-olds

FTC's interactive graphic

In 2023, American fraud victims aged 50 to 59 reported a median loss of $470 and 137 lost reports per 100,000 individuals. Scammers mainly reached out to this group through social media (28%), websites or apps (25%), phone calls (11%), and email (7%). When it came to sending money, credit cards were the top choice at 28%, followed by debit cards (20%), payment apps or services (14%), and cryptocurrency (11%). People in this age range were found to be susceptible to similar scams as those in the 40 to 49 and 60 to 69 age groups.

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