Almost two years ago, I performed one of my sporadic online bank balance checks, cringing at the damage I knew I inflicted the weekend prior. To my horror, five hundred dollars were missing. I have a shopping problem, but I’m nowhere near that crazy.
I opened up the statement and scanned the charges, sifting out the activity that was most definitely mine. Clothes, yes. Bars, yes. Six visits to different gas stations in two days? Me thinks not.
I immediately called up Chase Bank to report the fraud. The customer service rep on the other end was calm and helpful—she’d heard this story before. All I needed to do was print out my statement, highlight the charges I didn’t make, fax it over, and I would be reimbursed with 48 hours. And I was.
The biggest headache the fraud caused was a week without my debit card. But once I got my card and money back, I didn’t think about the fraud again.
Typical, apparently. A recent study found that even though the millennial crowd is the most targeted group for cyber crime (a third of us have experienced fraud!), we’re the least concerned about identity theft of all age groups.
Yup. I was a statistic. My generation is the most targeted for fraud, experiences the most fraudulent activity, and still … we care about our privacy the least. I think the apathy has less to do with indolence and more to do with convenience. As we grow into adulthood, technological advancements are causing conveniences to increase, and we have no trouble adapting. Going to the bank to deposit a check? No thanks; I’ll use the app from the comfort of my own couch cushions. Re-enter my credit card information every time I make an Urban Outfitters purchase online? Schyeaa right. I’ll be back.
But: We put ourselves at risk every time we use the same password for multiple sites or save any personal information on a site—even if it’s secure. Even the safest sites run the risk of a breach.
But I can’t get myself to care. Perhaps it’s because my assets are laughable, and I have little to lose. Or maybe it’s because I have actually experienced fraud, and the worst thing that happened was a 20-minute phone call with my bank and a week without my debit card. I lived through that, and would again.
Heather Sundell lives in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Cole