One in four Brits have fallen victim to a scam

One in four Brits, equivalent to 13 million people, say they have been the victim of a scam, according to new research from Santander UK, while almost three quarters (73%) said they were concerned about falling victim to a scam.

With the latest figures showing losses of almost £11 billion to the UK economy as a result of fraud, the survey also revealed the nation’s relaxed attitudes towards personal security with one in eight (12 per cent) admitting they would reply to an email from somebody they didn’t know, and four per cent confirming they were comfortable giving personal, security or banking details to a stranger. Santander took to the streets to test this further, with alarming results. With the help of Paul Wilson, host of the BBC TV show The Real Hustle, the bank’s video shows that in fact 85% of the people asked readily gave over their bank details.

The survey findings also reveal that over 4.6 million adults (nine per cent) believe their bank would ask for their full PIN, password or other private security details. One in 14 (seven per cent) also believe their bank would ask them to transfer money out of their account for security reasons, or ask for remote access to their computer (six per cent).

Santander’s Top 10 Tips to Protect Yourself from Scams

1.   Never give out personal, account or security details (including One Time Password codes). Santander, the police or any other organisation will never ask you for these in full.

2.   Never allow someone remote access to your computer following a cold call. Never log onto online banking if someone is remotely accessed to your computer.

3.   Don’t rely on caller ID – numbers can be spoofed by fraudsters to make it look like they’re calling from a trusted number.

4.   Always validate requests for new payments or changes to payment details face to face or by calling on an independently verified number.

5.   Santander, the police or any other company, will never call to ask you to transfer your money out of your account for security reasons.

6.   Never log on or enter/reveal a security code (One Time Password) in order to process a refund to your account.

7.   When buying/selling online always keep within the website guidance and advice – never communicate offline with a buyer/seller.

8.   Be wary of all cold calls purporting to be from banks, police, or other trusted organisations – if you have any concerns, call back on an independently verified number.

9.   Never log onto online banking after clicking on a link in an email or text message.

10. Install anti-virus software that includes an anti-phishing programme. Install Trusteer Rapport, it’s free and provides an extra safeguard when you are banking online.

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