While perusing through the daily press releases, gathering breaking news for today’s newscast, I was shocked by a release from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Yes, I was shocked, but also, a wave of comfort and a glimmer of hope came upon me. 

Michigan’s Attorney General has boldly claimed that Generation Z is the most gullible generation. This is great news for the aging Baby Boomers who have been exposed to decades of loud rock music and strolled through the world of psychedelics that filtered through the Woodstock Nation. 

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Did Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Really Brand Gen Z As Gullible?

So, okay, she didn’t actually use the term “gullible”, but she might as well have. The direct quote from the opening paragraph of the enlightening press release states, 

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to make Michigan residents aware that members of Generation Z – those born between the late 1990s and early 2010s – are three times more likely to be victims of online scams. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of the word “gullible” is, 

Gullible (adjective): easily duped or cheated. 

Why Is Generation Z So Easily Duped? 

It seems that those under 20 years old lost $8.2 million in 2017 and $210 million in 2022, a more than two-thousand percent increase, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Reports. Fortunately, our Attorney General has an answer to how an entire generation is so easily led down the dark alleys of internet rip-offs. It seems that Generation Z spends large amounts of time shopping online or engaging with social media. Both of these spaces are known for harboring fraudsters. Boy is that a shocker. 

Even though they grew up with the internet, they tend to be more frequent victims of identity theft, account hacking, and romance scams than their grandparents

Nessel says that, 

Members of Gen Z perform these tasks on their cellphones and are frequently targeted with phishing emails and ads from fake e-commerce platforms catered specifically to their interests. 

 Hmmm..so that’s what they’re doing while gaping at their phones on a stroll through the neighborhood. 

The Sad Truth Doesn’t End There 

Nessel continues to lay it to Gen Z, the young babes lost in the woods. She explains that “many members of Gen Z are handling their finances for the first time and may be susceptible to bad actors looking to scam them.” So, what is she saying? It takes a World War to teach a generation that there are bad people in the real world? 

Yes, it’s true that the "Boomers" didn’t have the evil internet lurking at our doorstep, however, I remember my mom fending off the Fuller Brush man and the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner salesman, hawking their wares at our front door. 

Nessel also claims that Gen Z are space cadets, claiming, 

Young adults are also likely to leave apps always available and always “on” without having to log in between uses. Two-factor authentication is rarely used among this age group, and it is not unusual for members of Gen Z to reuse passwords on multiple platforms. These present more vulnerabilities, and enabling two-factor authentication could better protect young consumers. 

Don’t Blame The Boomers 

Now remember, this comes from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, not some cranky "Baby Boomer" with a bad attitude who is always screaming at kids to get off their lawn. 

Ms. Nessel is a 54-year-old Democrat who was born in 1969. This would make her a member of Generation X. But let’s give her a break. Maybe her mother was pregnant at the Woodstock music festival, that year, and had a bad “acid” trip. 

Dana’s Six Step Guide For Gullible Gen Z 

Fortunately, Dana Nessel has taken the hand of Gen Z and offers to lead them from the woods. Here is her advice to avoid online scams: 

  • Enable two-step authentication.  
  • Turn off location-based services on your cellphone.  
  • Deactivate cookie tracking.  
  • Delete accounts you are not using. 
  • Change your passwords often and use unique passwords not based on known words or phrases. 
  • Watch out for the unexpected. Out-of-the-blue communications should be looked upon with suspicion. 

Let me stress, once again, these are not the thoughts of a slightly demented Baby Boomer. This is the official stance of Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel in a press release issued Wednesday, November 8, 2023, so please “chill” dude or dudette. Or as the Boomer would say, “Mellow out, man”. 

8 Things To Do If You Paid A Phone Scammer

Merciless phone scammers are targeting unaware folks with schemes involving pleas for charity, car warranties, unpaid traffic tickets, you name it. The Federal Trade Commission says, "Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter what payment method you used to pay, the sooner you act, the better."
If you have paid one of these scammers and then realize you have been scammed, here are 8 tips from the Federal Trade Commission, on what to do if you have paid a scammer.

Gallery Credit: Brad Carpenter/Federal Trade Commission/Canva