According to the latest YouGov research commissioned by credit information provider, Equifax, over a third of Brits (35%) are very or fairly concerned about being able to meet their financial commitments in 2017.  The new research also reveals that 30% think their financial situation will worsen next year; only 15% believe it will be better.

It is the lower paid workers that feel the least confident about getting a pay rise next year.  53% of those earning £5,000-£9,999 per annum and £10,000-£14,999 per annum do not expect to get a pay rise.  Those earning £40,000- £59,999 per annum appear to be the most confident, with 54% expecting to get a pay increase in 2017.

With four out of ten Brits believing they will not receive a pay rise in 2017, it is probably not surprising that there is a lack of confidence in the economy as a whole. When asked what concerned them most about their financial situation for 2017, the state of the UK economy came top of the list at 26%, followed by the impact of interest rates falling on savings at 17% and having enough saved for retirement at 12%.

Lisa Hardstaff, Equifax credit information expert, said:   “There’s no question that 2016 has been a significant year for the UK.  So it is perhaps not surprising that people are concerned about the strength of the UK economy as we head into 2017.  Although it is somewhat unfortunate to see that nearly a third feel their financial situation will be worse next year, it is positive to see that 46% believe it will stay the same. This means they are somewhat confident that they are not going to be in a worse position. 42% are going to review their current financial commitments in a bid to get better deals and save themselves some money.”

One in five Brits are scared of being scammed at Christmas, new research by Nationwide Building Society has found, with many people failing to take simple precautionary steps.

The study of 2,000 UK adults found that nearly half (48%) admit to not checking their current account or credit card statements regularly to compare the details against what they know they have bought – therefore running the risk of not spotting a fraudulent or unknown transaction on their account.

While 55% say they avoid the high street and do the majority of their Christmas shopping online, almost two in five don’t know how to spot if a website is secure or not – identified through a padlock symbol (see top tips below).

For those that do hit the high street to shop at Christmas, one in ten admitted to not shielding their PIN number at all at the cash machine when withdrawing money or paying for a purchase by card, while a further three in ten admitted to only shielding it sometimes.  This creates a risk, especially as close to a fifth have experienced shoulder surfing – someone trying to see their PIN from behind.

And when an offer seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.  More than one in five  have been left disappointed after purchasing fake gifts, or have not received anything at all, after making an online purchase in the hope of grabbing a Christmas bargain.

In the spirit of sharing at Christmas, 15% of Brits share details on social media of what they are up to when either on holiday or making overnight visits to friends and family over the festive period – but experts warn this is potentially giving criminals the opportunity to strike.

Stuart Skinner, Nationwide’s Head of Fraud, said: “Our research reveals people are at risk of being scammed at Christmas if they don’t take some simple preventative steps. With fraud, often the most frustrating thing is that a lack of awareness or lapse in concentration can lead to someone being successfully targeted. We hope that by being aware of a few top tips that shoppers will be in a safer place this Christmas.

“Nationwide, like other financial institutions, has a range of measures in place that are highly successful in protecting our members from becoming fraud victims. However, scammers are always looking for ways to deprive people of their hard-earned cash.

“For example, criminals target ATMs at this time of year because of the increase in use, tied with the fact that in the holidays, people tend to be less likely to check their balances.  This is why we recommend customers check their accounts regularly and shield their PINs in order to limit their chances of being defrauded.”