Boomers buck online scam stereotypes, study finds

66% misjudge Boomers' scam risk; data shows equal vulnerability across ages

Boomers buck online scam stereotypes, study finds

In a study conducted by Ipsos and HomeEquity Bank, provider of the CHIP Reverse Mortgage, the prevailing stereotype that Boomers are the primary victims of online fraud and scams is robustly challenged, as announced on Newswire Canada. 

Contrary to the widespread belief held by 66 percent of Canadians that Boomers are most susceptible to such threats, the data reveals that individuals from this demographic are equally likely as any other generation to fall prey to online fraud, despite being targeted more frequently.   

This survey highlights the vigilance of Boomers in avoiding high-risk online behaviors, highlighting their adeptness in navigating the digital realm safely.  

“Our bank only works with Canadian homeowners 55+ so we have a pretty good read on just how capable and savvy these folks are, and this study confirmed our own research,” stated Vivianne Gauci, senior vice president customer experience at HomeEquity Bank.  

Despite not falling for scams at a higher rate, older Canadians still face a significant threat from increasingly sophisticated scam attempts, pointing to a pressing need for enhanced educational efforts to bolster their defenses against such tactics.   

The investigation into scam vulnerabilities across different age groups uncovered a generational divide in perceptions and behaviors.  

Younger demographics are reportedly more prone to engaging in risky online activities, such as connecting to public Wi-Fi and using the same password across multiple accounts, driven by a misplaced sense of security stemming from their familiarity with technology. 

In stark contrast, Boomers are the most cautious, with 85 percent expressing constant concern over online fraud, compared to an average of 76 percent across other generations.   

Despite the higher likelihood of engaging in potentially unsafe online behavior among Canadians in general, with 84 percent admitting to such actions in the past week, Boomers are the least likely to do so, at 71 percent versus 90 percent for all other generations.  

“It's satisfying to have data reinforce what I know to be true about people over 55 when it comes to being safe online. Confidence is important, but it's just as important to stay informed with new types of scams popping up every day,” remarked Bill VanGorder, chief policy, and education officer at the Canadian Association for Retired Persons (CARP).   

Amidst these findings, a common thread among Canadians is the eagerness to learn more about fraud prevention and enhance their online safety, with 89 percent open to gaining further knowledge.  

This desire is coupled with concern over the advent of new AI technologies (83 percent) and a call for more comprehensive education on cybersecurity and data protection (77 percent).