'Six in 10 Brits' unprotected against money scams

·2 min read
Most victims of money scams now lose over £1,000, according to a study. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Most victims of money scams now lose over £1,000, according to a study. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Money scams are on the rise in the UK, but six in 10 Brits do nothing to protect themselves – leaving them vulnerable, according to a study.

About 56% of Brits don't do anything to protect themselves from the most common financial scams, according to a survey of 1,000 people by Ocean Finance.

This is despite 467,962 instances of fraud being reported between 2018 and 2020 – and a 12% rise in the past year, a freedom of information (FOI) request to the National Fraud Authority (NFA) by the firm found.

A third of fraud victims lost £1,001 ($1,301) or more – making it the most common amount.

Yet, the majority of Brits seem to lack awareness, with one in eight (12%) not sure if they’ve been the victim of financial fraud.

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Two in five (38%) Brits in the survey said they would send money to an email request, without verifying the sender – the biggest percentage. Just over a third (35%) said they would get in touch via phone or an alternate email. And, even fewer people said they would examine the language used (26%), the display name (23%) or the payment link destination (20%).

Two in three Brits said they believe the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased opportunities for scammers looking to take advantage of uncertainty and confusion – data suggests this to be true.

However, two in five (39%) said they are not concerned about 2020’s most emerging financial scams.

READ MORE: Online shopping scams rise by a third in 2020

However, of those who are concerned, three in 10 (29%) are worried about “card not present” fraud, the data shows. A quarter are worried about fake test and trace calls (24%), and scam government fine warnings (23%).

Just over a fifth (21%) think they could be tricked by misleading social media adverts.

And one in 10 are worried about video conferencing malware, as they continue to depend on software like Skype, Zoom and FaceTime while working from home. About 8% are worried about romance scams, the survey found.

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