According to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI), a quarter of Americans have been a victim of fraud. While Millennials were the least likely to say they were concerned they could be a victim of financial fraud compared to older generations, they were also the most likely to say they had been a victim of fraud in the past two years, 17 percent of Millennials versus 11 percent Generation X (Gen X) and 12 percent of Baby Boomers.
One of the reasons Millennials might not be as concerned about being a victim of fraud is that they don’t realize that even though many of them have lower account balances than their older counterparts it doesn’t exclude them from being a target. Another reason may be that younger consumers are more likely to engage in risky behaviors that might make them an easy target – such as sharing too much personal information online.
Millennials were the least likely age group to check their retirement accounts at least once a quarter for fraud. Less than half of Millennials check compared to 59 percent Gen X and more than 7 in 10 Baby Boomers. However, they are also the age group who wished financial service companies would tell them more about what they do to prevent fraud. Additionally, LIMRA SRI finds one in three Millennials strongly agree that they wished they knew more.
When it comes to what consumers would do to help protect themselves against fraud, LIMRA SRI finds younger consumers say they are more likely to accept longer financial transaction times than older generations. Millennials also say they are more likely to consolidate their retirement accounts with more than 6 in 10 saying they would to help prevent a fraudulent attack.
Here are three tips to prevent yourself from financial fraud:
- Protect your personal information at all times. Learn to recognize when your web activity is encrypted and only share sensitive payment or login info over these secure connections.
- Don’t use the same password or username. Hackers will often breach accounts with low levels of security and then simply test if the same credentials can gain access to more important accounts. Neither your username nor your password should be recycled from anything you have made public, like your actual name, email address, or social media profiles.
- Routinely monitor all of your accounts. Write down a reminder or make an appointment on your calendar to help you remember. If you still have assets in your retirement accounts from previous employers and struggle to monitor them regularly, consider whether consolidating your accounts is a viable option.