Millennials are victims of fraud more than any other generation: survey

CHEX TV/Peterborough

It’s a surprising number — according to a survey by Equifax Canada, more millennials are falling victim to fraud than any other generation.

The survey states 53 per cent of the 1,539 respondents experienced fraud, and millennials — those in their early 20s to early 30s — experienced more fraud than any other age group.

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Peterborough police fraud detective Keith Calderwood said most of his day-to-day calls still involve seniors, but said the number isn’t surprising.

He points to the social media age as the culprit, and said sharing too much information online is a problem.

“Millennials have grown up with technology, and they put a little too much trust in it,” Calderwood said.

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A younger person is more likely to apply for jobs online, he explained, and fake job applications circulate online.

Inadvertently filling one out hands a stranger a pile of personal information, he said, including an address, phone number and social insurance number.

“People can take that simple information and do a lot with just that simple information,” he said.

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Peterborough has two post-secondary institutions, and a lot of rental properties.

“A lot of millennials will fall victim to a rental scam,” Calderwood said.

That scam involves someone posing as a landlord, listing a property, usually online, as available for rent. Interested tenants are asked to put down a deposit.

“And they will just say ‘Yes, I’d like that, and they’ll send a deposit without viewing it or talking to the landlord,'” Calderwood said.

It’s only later that those tenants will find out that the person posing as a landlord doesn’t own the property, or that it’s already been rented to someone else.

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Trent University’s Nona Robinson said the school has a website that connects off-campus students with trusted landlords and properties.

The school recommends students to take a first-hand look at anything they want to rent. However, she noted that’s not always possible for students travelling to Trent from far-away locations.

“If the landlord is pushing you to do a wire transfer or anything like that, try and get things in writing,” Robinson said. If possible, she said, try to get a friend to check out the property for you.

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