Equifax warns of under 25s becoming more vulnerable to scams

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The latest YouGov research commissioned by Equifax reveals how the online behaviour of 18 to 24 year-olds could result in them falling victim to fraudsters.

The data reveals that 29% of 18 to 24 year-olds online would share their Facebook details with a third party app (e.g. an online quiz or shopping app) but 27% of all 18-24 year olds wouldn’t read the information on how their details would be used before deciding whether to share them.

In addition, 43% of the age group use the same password for multiple online accounts and 15% keep a record of their passwords on their mobile phones.

This research coincides with Citizens Advice Scams Awareness Month, which is focusing specifically on “young people” from 10th July to educate them on scams and fraud and to help them learn how to keep their personal information safe.

Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax, comments, “Recent statistics have revealed that the younger age group makes up a growing proportion of victims of online and identity fraud, with a 34% increase of victims under the age of 21 years. Judging by the latest Equifax research this may not come as a surprise.

“While young people are ‘digital natives’ who have grown up surrounded by technology, this may mean that they are very confident online and less likely to be worried about risks. The fact that 29% of under-25s would share their Facebook details and 43% just stick with the same password for multiple online accounts demonstrates that the age group can be complacent and therefore vulnerable to scams. In addition, their confidence means they can feel that they are unlikely to fall for scams. This can lull them into a sense of false security.

“Every time a young person engages on social media, it could be putting their personal information at risk. It might seem innocent at the time, but young people can easily reveal their age, birth date, address, pet names or even family details such as their mother’s maiden name – all things that could be used for security questions or passwords.

“We are urging consumers to stay vigilant and check out steps for staying safe from scams to ensure they stay safe. Scams Awareness Month is a great opportunity for consumers of all ages to take extra precautions by understanding the risks.”

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 day free trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.