Over 5 million Brits have fallen victim to a financial scam

14 Jun 2019 More than 5 million Brits (10%) have fallen victim to a financial scam at some point in their lives, according to new research by Lloyds Bank and YouGov.

A quarter (25%) of the 2,018 UK adults surveyed also reported knowing someone else who has been duped by a fraudster.

Despite this, four in five (83%) say they feel confident that they would be able to spot a financial scam, and three quarters (77%) believe they are able to keep up with the potential risks around financial scams.

A third (33%) of clued-up Brits reported that they have been targeted by fraudsters but were able to put a stop to it.

The research, commissioned as part of Lloyds Bank’s How Britain Lives series to coincide with Scam Awareness 2019, also found that fake emails (36%) and dodgy phone calls (35%) are the most common ways for fraudsters to target their victims.

However, social media, company websites and even text messages were also found to be a hunting ground for scammers, with one in 20 (5%) people reporting being targeted in each of these ways.

Paul Davis Fraud and Financial Crime Director at Lloyds Bank said: “We are a vigilant nation, yet it is clear from our research that many of us do still get caught out when it comes to scams. Fraudsters have adapted to changing technology by using ever more sophisticated tactics, making them more difficult to spot.

“We’re encouraging people to talk to friends and family about fraud, so that more people are aware of how to identify the tell-tale the signs of a scam. If you suspect you’ve been a target, it’s important to contact your bank immediately.”

Scams Awareness 2019 runs from the 10th to 23rd June. More information can be found here.

How to spot a financial scam

By Paul Davis, Fraud and Financial Crime Director at Lloyds Bank

Fraudsters may try to get money from you by sending fake emails and texts or even calling you directly. They do this by sending an email or text to you in an attempt to get access to your internet banking details.

There are a few things you can do to help stop these types of fraud from happening:

  • Check for spelling mistakes – Get into the habit of checking for minor spelling mistakes in the addresses of the emails you receive. For example: “Lloids Bank” instead of “Lloyds Bank”. 
  • Double check the sender is real – If you receive an email asking you to make an urgent payment, always double check the request is real by speaking to them in person, or by calling them on the number you have saved.
  • Beware of unexpected emails – Be cautious about opening any emails that you weren’t expecting (even if you think you recognise the sender), and don’t click on any links or attachments unless you are sure they are genuine.Also, watch out for spoof text messages which may look similar to genuine messages you receive from your bank.
  • Use anti-virus software and stay up to date – Always use anti-virus software to protect your devices and ensure you have downloaded the latest updates for your operating system.
  • Question any requests to share details or move money – Your bank will never ask you to share your account details like user ID, password and memorable information. You should also be alert if your bank suddenly tells you to move your money or asks you to transfer funds to a new sort code and account number. Contact them immediately if you receive any requests of this nature.
  • Make sure your internet banking site looks normal – Do not log on or key in codes from your card and reader if any of the website pages look strange or different as this may indicate a virus infection.
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