New Yorkers Get Failing Grade in Online Scams

March 6, 2014

Internet Schemes Cost State Residents $28 Million A Year – AARP Report Reveals Why So Many Are Falling Prey to Online Fraudsters

NEW YORK, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Tech savvy New York adults are getting an “F” when it comes to spotting online scams, according to an AARP study, and it’s costing them – to the tune of $28 million a year. Based on the study, AARP knows why so many of the 8.1 million New Yorkers who received an online fraud offer took the scammer up on it.

The Association identified an online victim profile for New Yorkers based on 15 key behaviors and life experiences that vastly increase a person’s vulnerability to online fraud. The difference between a victim and non-victim can come down to the basics, from being concerned about debt to a higher likelihood to click on pop-ups.

Findings from the AARP New York report “Caught in the Scammers Net,” include:

    --  Over one in five (22%) New York State adults who access the internet, or
        as many as 2.4 million people, engage in at least 7 of the 15 behaviors
        or experience life events that may put them at high risk of being
        victimized by online fraud. An additional 50% are at medium risk.
    --  Nearly three-quarters (72%) of all New York State adults that access the
        Internet, or as many as 8.1 million people, received at least one
        fraudulent online offer in 2013.
    --  Although 79% of New York adults surveyed are concerned about being
        scammed over the Internet, they correctly answered an average of only
        5.04 out of 10 questions designed to test their knowledge about how to
        be safe online.

Some top risk factors making New Yorkers prone to online scams:


    --  Clicking on pop-ups.
    --  Signing up for free, limited-time-trial offers.
    --  Visiting a website that requires them to read a privacy policy.


    --  Feeling isolated/lonely.
    --  Prone to being impulsive.
    --  Being concerned about debt.

Experiences and Knowledge:

    --  Experiencing more negative life events, such as the loss of a job or a
        negative change in financial status.
    --  Being unaware that banks do not send emails to their customers asking
        them to click on a link to verify personal information.
    --  Being unaware that a privacy policy does not always mean the website
        will not share their information with other companies.

The study of New Yorkers ages 18 and older was released in conjunction with the announcement of the establishment of the AARP Fraud Watch Network – a national campaign to fight fraud and identity theft and give Americans access to information about how to protect themselves and their families.

Follow us on Twitter: @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

SOURCE AARP New York State

Source: PR Newswire

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