Mark Zuckerberg famously said "young people are just smarter," but when it comes to internet scams, it seems millennials aren't so savvy after all.
A new survey found that 50 percent of the victims of tech support scams were 18- to 34-year-olds; by comparison, only 34 percent of people ages 36 to 54 were likely to click phony pop-up ads, emails, or calls. The group least likely to do any of those things were those the Facebook founder would consider ancient: the over 55s, with only 17 percent likely to be conned.
The Ipsos poll of 1,000 people in 12 countries revealed that two out three consumers were hit with some sort of tech-related scam in the past year, which puts their personal information at risk. But Live Science reports that, overall, only 20 percent took the scams seriously, with 9 percent losing money.
Americans, however, were the most gullible, with 33 percent believing the pitch and 21 percent losing cash.
Dark Reading reports that IT scams often involve phone calls in which a potential victim is told their computer has been infected with malware, followed by an offer to sell tech support. From there, the scammers aim to gain remote access to a victim's computer.
"If that computer is connected to the office or has business information … that could be a pretty big risk for the enterprise," says Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, which released the study with Microsoft. He urged keeping anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date and more IT training of workers, many of whom are millennials.