Does Customer Age Matter for Fraud Prevention?

In 2020, consumers spent approximately $630 billion on online shopping, and merchants lost $12 billion to  fraud. Federal data indicates that impostor scams and ecommerce  fraud topped the list. Account takeover fraud, which is driven by impostor scams, increased by 50%, with no signs of slowing down in 2021.

Consumers in every age bracket are in fraudsters’ sights. However, by understanding how fraudsters target different age groups, merchants can tailor their fraud prevention programs to fit the risk profiles for their customer demographics. This approach can reduce fraud losses and improve the shopping experience for good customers.

The 2021 Javelin Identity Fraud Study includes findings on identity fraud scam approaches that criminals use on each generation:

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers — consumers over the age of 56 — are prime targets for robocalls and other phone-based tactics that impersonate the IRS, Medicare, Social Security, banks and other trusted institutions. Scammers gather financial account information and government program ID numbers to take over accounts, divert funds and commit identity fraud.

Gen X

Gen X, ranging in age from 41 to 56, get targeted by robocalls too, as well as text and email phishing scams designed to steal their login credentials and payment data. Because as many as 65% of people use the same password for some or all of their accounts, phishing those login credentials makes it easy for criminals to break…

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