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One in ten falls prey to financial scammers

Cherry Reynard
Written By:
Cherry Reynard

More than 5 million Brits (10%) have fallen victim to a financial scam with dodgy emails and phone calls the most common ways scammers target their victims.

New research by Lloyds Bank and YouGov found that a quarter (25%) of the those surveyed also reported knowing someone else who has been duped by a fraudster.

However, most (four in five) are confident they could spot a financial scam. Three quarters (77%) believe they are able to keep up with the potential risks around financial scams. However, only a third of Brits report that they have been approached by fraudsters and put a stop to it.

Those over 65 claimed to be the most confident about spotting a financial scam.

While emails and phone calls remain the most common ways for fraudsters to target victims, but social media, company websites and even text messages were also found to be fertile ground for scammers.

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.”

How to spot a financial scam – Paul Davis

  • 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.