Financial Crime: Majority of UK Adults Targeted by Scams – Report

The most common scams this year have been revealed – “with more than seven in 10 adults targeted by scams in the last 12 months, being hit on average three times each week – over 150 times a year.”

Scams through digital platforms, social media firms and telecommunications companies make up “the entirety of the top 10 financial scams Brits say they experienced this year, with phishing scams (37%), trusted organization scams (21%) and refund scams (13%) the most prevalent – as over a quarter (28%) of the nation say they’ve seen an increase in the amount they are being targeted compared to last year.”

New research commissioned by NatWest of 2,000 Brits, in conjunction “with their own data, showed that almost two thirds (63%) of Brits feel apprehensive about their financial online safety – with 60% worried about losing money to a scammer online.”

The bank commissioned the study “to highlight the rapid evolution of the methods which scammers use, evident in the range and complexity of the most common scams criminals are currently using to con people out of their cash.”

Top scams Brits have been targeted with this year are:

  • Phishing scam (37% of Brits targeted): Fake emails, calls, messages or websites that seem to be from legitimate organizations which ask you to provide personal/financial information.
  • Trusted organization scams (21%): Criminals contacting you impersonating trusted organizations such as HMRC, energy companies or service providers saying there’s something wrong with your account, you owe a fine or similar.
  • Refund scams (13%): Criminals impersonating trusted organisations telling you that you’re due a refund and asking to share your personal or banking information, such as your one-time-passcode, to receive the refund.
  • Friend or Family scams (12%): Messages sent to your phone or via social media claiming to be someone you know asking for money urgently to pay bills.
  • Get Rich Quick scams (9%): Criminals claim that you’ll make money quickly by investing in a company or goods, with the promise of making far more than you put in.
  • Purchase scams (9%): Criminals place adverts for fake consumer goods and products online, on popular social media and even auction sites to gain money or information. Products often include tech like games consoles, vehicles, concert and event tickets and designer clothing, pets or even holidays.
  • Investment scams (8%): Criminals encouraging people to invest money into fake opportunities or pyramid schemes.
  • Safe Account scams (7%): Criminals call pretending they are your bank or the police and that there has been fraudulent activity on your account, and to protect your funds you must move them to a new account to keep them safe.
  • Lottery cons (7%): Falsely being informed you have won a lottery prize, with a request to send over sensitive personal and/or financial information to claim your prize.
  • Befriending scams (6%): Criminals create fake accounts on social media and send connection requests, and after building up a friendship they ask for money, login information or other favors.

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