(Bloomberg) “You must pay your taxes immediately, or else,” an ominous voice on the other line says before demanding a credit-card number. Most Americans roll their eyes and hang up on these scam calls, but thousands have fallen victim, and millennials are more susceptible than older generations, a new study finds.
Millennials are less likely than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers to receive tax scam phone calls, according to a recent survey, but they were six times more likely than older generations to give the scammer their credit-card numbers, and twice as likely to give their Social Security numbers.
The survey of over 1,000 American adults commissioned by First Orion, a phone-call transparency company that works with mobile carriers to block scam and telemarketing calls, found that tax scams were among the most common fraudulent calls, second only to cruise and vacation scams. From October 2013 to October 2015, 4,550 victims were claimed by these scams, paying more than $23 million in total, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration received over 700,000 reports of such scams during that time period.