rafe arnott/metro vancouver
Internet-savvy youth are the new senior citizen when it comes to falling prey to scams and fraud, the president of the Better Business Bureau of Mainland B.C. said yesterday.
Lynda Pasacreta, who presented the top 10 scams of 2007 at the Vancouver Police Department, said fraudsters are taking advantage of social networking sites to find new ways to rip people off.
"With a greater connectivity comes a greater cost," said Pasacreta, adding that youth tend to post too much personal information on Facebook and MySpace and are naive to its risks.
"Young people are very relaxed and not all that worried about fraud in the marketplace," she said.
Sixty per cent of young people using social networking sites post their date of birth, one in four post their job title and almost one in 10 give their home address, said Pasacreta.
Fraudsters, she said, can use that information to steal their identity or figure out personal passwords.
Valerie MacLean, executive director of the B.C. Crime Prevention Association, agreed that fraudsters who used to target trusting seniors have found new prey in naive youngsters online.
"Young people are not as aware of fraudsters that are finding these websites and getting information," she said. "We’ve seen people posting their PIN on Facebook. Why would you do that?"