Millennials, Gen Z least likely to fall prey to online scammers in Kenya - Visa study

Millennials, Gen Z least likely to fall prey to online scammers in Kenya - Visa study

A person types on a laptop computer. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Millennials and Gen Zers are least likely to respond to a requested action by a scammer in a text message or email in Kenya, a new study by the American card payment organisation Visa shows.

Visa’s Stay Secure study released on Thursday shows that millennials, the group born between 1981 and 1996, have a 38 per cent chance of engaging online scammers while those in Gen Z – the group born after 1996 – have a 42 per cent likelihood.

On the other hand, boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) respond to 2 in 3 such requests and are the most susceptible group to scammers with a 67 per cent possibility.

The research cited over-confidence as leaving consumers in Kenya at risk of becoming victims of fraud and online scams.

Visa said they surveyed 17 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa and found a disconnect between consumers’ confidence in recognizing fraud and their online behaviour, highlighting the importance of staying alert and mindful of fraud attempts.

“Considering themselves knowledgeable might make people even more vulnerable, as false confidence can propel someone to click on a fake link or respond to a scam offer. Those who consider themselves more knowledgeable are more likely to respond to a requested action from scammers compared to those who say they are less knowledgeable,” the report says.

Furthermore, nearly three-quarters of Kenyans (74%) surveyed admitted to being a victim of a scam at least once in their life.

They were most concerned that their family or friends would fall victim to a fake recruiter on career networking or job sites (75%) or investment scams promising financial gain (67%).

Whilst only 57 per cent globally reported looking to ensure communications are sent from a valid email address, 77 per cent of Kenyans do.

The Visa Stay Secure Study identified prevalent patterns in the language most associated with scams; orchestrating urgency to spur people into action, sharing positive news such as “free gift,” “you’ve been selected,” or “you’re a winner” as well as requiring actions such as requests to reset one’s password.

“In today’s digital-first world, scams are evolving in sophistication, with criminals using new approaches to trick unsuspecting consumers. Whether it’s a parcel held up at customs, a streaming subscription claiming to have expired, or a free voucher for a favourite brand, scammers are adopting persuasive tactics to deceive,” Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Acting General Manager for East Africa and Country Manager for Kenya at Visa said.

The study forms Visa’s Stay Secure Campaign, focused on raising consumer awareness, strengthening education, and building confidence to combat social engineering threats.

Through the initiative, Visa provides educational content, including videos, infographics, and tips designed to equip consumers with the knowledge and skills to recognise and prevent fraud. 


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