It might be hard to believe, but the world of financial scams seems to have a surprising gender twist. Out of all Americans dealing with identity theft and financial fraud stress, it’s the guys who seem to be getting the shorter end of the stick.
In a recent survey conducted by GOBankingRates, intriguing statistics come to light: While 39% of Americans have faced the dreaded trio of financial woes, the data dances with a gender tilt. Among the scam victims, a chunky 40% are men, slightly nudging ahead of women at 38%.
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Keep reading as we dive into the web of financial deception and the ways men are getting into the web of scams. We will also explore the savvy moves women are making to shield their finances and protect themselves against those money-hungry culprits.
Identity Theft: An Equal Challenge
Financial identity theft — stolen credit cards, bank information and even Social Security numbers — is a familiar issue for both men and women. This type of identity theft takes the lead, affecting 31% of both women and men.
On the other hand, in criminal identity theft — where licenses or state-issued IDs are stolen — men face a slightly higher risk. While only 2% of women report falling victim to this type of left, a more noticeable 4% of men have had their identities stolen in this way.
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Demystifying the Scammers Playbook
Ever wonder how these financial tricksters manage their schemes? According to the survey results, certain scam attempts appeal more to men than women. For instance, phone scams — including robocalls, texts, bots and impersonations — strike a chord with 18% of men compared to 16% of women. Money transfer and mobile payment service scams have affected 13% of men and 11% of women. Social Security, imposter, tax and dating scams also favor men.
And when it comes to snagging tickets or buying gift cards or cars, men often find themselves more at risk. Around 6% of men recall falling for concert or sports ticket scams, while a mere 3% of women were lured in this way. The gender divide extends to other purchases, as well.
In the world of scams, men often take center stage, targeted by various schemes. But fear not: We’re not just uncovering the challenges — we’re also revealing the strategies that women employ to protect themselves from these financial predators.
The Cost of Deception
Financial scams come at a cost, and understanding the consequences is important to understanding the toll financial scams can take on a person’s financial well-being. Although any financial loss is a struggle, a $5,000 scam ordeal is going to have a much harsher punch than a $200 one. Here’s a look at the percentage of men who have experienced financial losses within each range versus women.
$0.01 to $250: 9% of men vs. 12% of women
$251 to $500: 9% of men vs. 6% of women
$501 to $1,000: 8% of men vs. 7% of women
$1,001 to $2,000: 6% of men vs. 4% of women
Here we see men’s wallets being affected more than women’s, highlighting the ways in which men are more affected by scammers.
Women’s Fortified Defense: How To Stay Protected
Now, let’s talk strategy — the kind that keeps scammers at bay and your wallet safe. And who better to learn from than the savvy women who’ve turned financial defense into an art form? Check out these surefire ways to protect your money from scammers.
Safeguarding sensitive documents and credit/debit cards in a secure place
Having different, strong passwords for accounts and devices
Loading anti-spyware programs on their computers
Checking account statements each month for any suspicious activity
Harnessing the power of two-factor identification
Steering clear of suspicious links, emails or texts
Checking ATMs for signs of tampering before use.
Now let’s zero in on the gender divide. Women are taking charge in key areas:
Loading anti-spyware programs on their computers: 41% of women vs. 37% of men
Having different, strong passwords for accounts and devices: 61% of women vs. 53% of men
Checking account statements each month for any suspicious activity: 64% of women vs. 51% of men
With a proactive stance and savvy mindset, women are putting up an impressive defense against scammers. By taking a leaf out of women’s playbooks, all individuals can bolster their financial security and stand firm against the tricks of the trade.
Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,141 Americans aged 18 and older from across the country between August 2 and August 6, 2023, asking twenty different questions: (1) Have you ever been the victim of identity theft, a financial scam or financial fraud?; (2) If you have been a victim of identity theft, which type of theft did you experience?; (3) If you have been a victim of a financial scam, which type of scam did you experience? (select all that apply); (4) If you have been a victim of financial fraud, what type of fraud did you experience? (select all that apply); (5) Have you ever been scammed making any of the following purchases?; (6) All together, how much money have you lost due to identity theft, financial scams and/or financial fraud?; (7) If you lost money due to identity theft, a financial scam or financial fraud, were you reimbursed for it?; (8) What is the most common way you are contacted by scammers?; (9) How often do you change your bank account passwords?; (10) How do you keep your money safe while traveling? (select all that apply); (11) Where do you think is the safest place to keep your money?; (12) How much physical cash do you keep at home?; (13) If you have been scammed out of money when shopping online, how much did you lose?; (14) If you are retired, have you ever experienced these common retirement scams? (select all that apply); (15) Have you, or any of your family members, experienced a Social Security scam?; (16) If you have lost money from a tax scam, how much did you lose?; (17) Have you ever experienced a student loan forgiveness scam?; (18) What type of impact do you think identity theft has on its victims?; (19) What are some ways you protect yourself from identity theft today? (select all that apply); and (20) Do you have antivirus software installed on your computer?. GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Men Are More Likely To Lose Cash to Scammers: What Women Are Doing To Protect Themselves