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Attorney General Warns Gen Z May Be More Likely Scam Victims

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to make Michigan residents aware that members of Generation Z – those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s – are three times more likely to be victims of online scams. Those under 20 lost an estimated $8.2 million in 2017 and $210 million in 2022, a more than two-thousand percent increase, per the FBI’s Internet Crime Reports. 

Though they have been raised in the internet age and have a deep familiarity with their devices, members of Gen Z tend to be more frequent victims of identity theft, account hacking, and romance scams than their grandparents, finds a 2022 report from the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

Members of Generation Z spend large amounts of time shopping online or engaging with social media. Both are spaces where they will find plenty of fraudsters waiting. Members of Gen Z perform these tasks on their cellphones and are frequently targeted with phishing emails and ads from fake e-commerce platforms catered specifically to their interests.  

Gen Z-ers, young and in the early stages of their professional life, are often targeted with bogus job offers promising to accelerate their careers. These offers will often require a payment for training or supplies. However, no legitimate employer will require payment for a position. 

Young adults are also likely to leave apps always available and always “on” without having to log in between uses. Two-factor authentication is rarely used among this age group, and it is not unusual for members of Gen Z to reuse passwords on multiple platforms. These present more vulnerabilities, and enabling two-factor authentication could better protect young consumers. 

“Many members of Generation Z are handling their finances for the first time and may be susceptible to bad actors looking to scam them,” Nessel said. “Protecting your information and your devices is an important step in staying safe online. If you have been scammed, the Consumer Protection Team in my office can help.” 

The Attorney General recommends using the following tips to avoid online scams: 

  • Enable two-step authentication. 
  • Turn off location-based services on your cellphone. 
  • Deactivate cookie tracking. 
  • Delete accounts you are not using.
  • Change your passwords often and use unique passwords not based on known words or phrases.
  • Watch out for the unexpected. Out-of-the-blue communications should be looked upon with suspicion. 

Following the above safety tips and applying common sense privacy practices will help online users of all generations stay safe and keep their information secure.

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact:

Consumer Protection Team:
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Fax: 517-241-3771
Toll-free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form


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