Should Students Learn About Phishing? The Rise of Fraud Scams

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Fraud is one of the most common crimes in the world nowadays, and AI is making it much more widespread and harder to detect. Experts claim that fraud has become so common and sophisticated that more and more people fall victim to it.

There is a common misconception that elderly people are the most likely to fall victim to fraud, but the surprising truth is that the group most harmed is young adults (who constitute over half of the victims in the UK). This misconception about who is vulnerable or susceptible to fraud is one of the core problems surrounding the topic.

According to Techxplore, a 2023 report by UK Finance indicates that young adults aged 18 to 24 are being increasingly targeted by fraudsters and are far more likely to fall prey to an impersonation scam. Also, the rate of teenagers aged 13 to 17 falling prey to scams because of online gaming has seen a sharp rise.

To deal with this rising threat many schools worldwide have introduced online safety programs as part of the school curriculum, but those mostly deal with online abuse and safety on social media, not on how to protect yourself from online scams.

The experts at Techxplore claim that fraud prevention should be taught in schools and universities as part of the curriculum. They add that programs to teach each specific age group should be developed and tested for effectiveness.

When it comes to the question of source, the FTC reported that in a quarter of cases in which people lost money to fraud, the process began on social media and networking platforms. Social media sites let scammers hide behind fake personas and pretend to be legitimate businesses while reaching millions with a single click.

There are currently attempts at passing bills that will impede the spread of frauds and scams, but more work is needed. The experts claim that policymakers must allocate funding to research and law enforcement agencies, introduce laws that provide greater protection to people, and collaborate with international law enforcement bodies (like Interpol).