It seems that there is an impulse to believe young people possess a measure of savvy lacking in those who are older. We also seem to believe that level of savvy decrease the older one gets. After all, senior citizens are the ones we worry most about falling victim to financial and tax scams, right?
Well, this article from Forbes.com says that it is actually millennials who are most likely to fall victim to such scams.
Just the headline of this article grabbed my surprised attention, but the numbers in the article blew me away even more. Almost 17 percent of millennials said that if a caller could verify the last four digits of a social security number, they would give away more personal information, as compared to 3.2 percent of Gen X-ers and two percent of Baby Boomers. It then shouldn’t be so surprising that millennials as a group feel they are less likely to be victims of identity theft.
In a way, this is a heartening statistic. People should grow up feeling safe and not afraid of the world, right? At the same time, though, we need to ensure that they also gain a sense of how to keep themselves safe.
That generation is growing up in a world where more is being shared as a general rule. Technology has made it easier to keep in contact with more people than ever before, and social media is leading to more being shared between those people than ever before.
There is much debate to be had in this area over what information is right to share, and with whom, but there are certain pieces that one must learn to keep private no matter what, Certain pieces of personal information can be used by scammers to negatively affect one financially, and the younger generations must be taught what information needs to be held close.
Ironically it seems that savvy that we credit the younger generation with can is often attached to technology, but it may be that same technology that is making them more susceptible to such scams.
Maybe the older generations need to keep in mind that there are things they do not know as well as younger generations, but there is also a wealth of knowledge they can pass on, and much of that comes from experience. After all, how much do children have to worry about handling finances? This is why just last week I wrote about making sure those holding summer jobs knew about the tax obligations of that work.
In fact, I recently read another article that says the millennial generation is financially timid. Now of course, this is a time in our country when many are feeling unsure and timid for a variety of reasons. But if we are going to carry through the ideas already uncovered here, doesn’t it stand to reason that one would be timid in areas where they don’t have a lot of a knowledge or confidence?
In conclusion, I think that financial issues are not something families always discuss, and this is understandable. First, they can often be a source of stress, and thus a less-than-enjoyable topic. Second, there rarely is much younger members of a family do that affects the situation. But let these stories be a slight warning that there is a measure of information that will only serve them well to have.
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