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Teenagers more likely to fall for a scam than pensioners

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Teenagers and young adults are more likely to fall victim to a scam than pensioners, research has revealed.

Six in 10 people aged 16-29 have admitted to falling for scams, compared to a quarter of those aged 60+.

For 25% of young people who’ve been scammed, it’s happened more than once, according to research from Unbiased – a comparison site of independent financial advisers.

It found that more than half of people aged 16-29 use the same password across all devices, compared to 24% of those aged 60+.

The older generation are more wary of online celebrity endorsements, with just 15% trusting a celeb-fronted advert. However, for the younger age group, 51% would assume the product or service was safe to buy and wouldn’t consider it to be a scam.

Unbiased found nearly a third of those aged 29 and under have fallen for a cold call, rising to 36% for a social media scam.

Of those who’ve fallen victim to a social media scam, 41% of the 1,500 Brits polled admitted they’ve previously had an account hacked, targeted or duplicated by scammers.

For older people, they tend to get caught out with phishing and investment scams.

But when trying to identify potential scams, 74% will look out for spelling errors, 69% would be suspicious if the request seemed odd and 61% wouldn’t trust an email depending on the sender’s name.

More than half (53%) also admit they’d feel suspicious if an email or post online had blurry images or logos.

When it comes to reporting scams, 90% of both the older and younger generations would contact their bank, Action Fraud or the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.

For those who wouldn’t report a scam, 29% said “it’s not worth it” as they knew they wouldn’t get their money back. For one in four, they said they wouldn’t know where to report the scam.

Turning to the impact of scams, 36% of those polled said it made them feel violated, while 35% said it’s made them less trusting of social media.

Karen Barrett, founder and CEO of Unbiased, said: “A lot of people turn to Unbiased when they have been affected by investment or pension scams.

“Investing can be a great way to make your money work harder, but scammers will usually try to lure you with a deal that seems risk free. The old saying about ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’ is correct in the case of scams.

“If the sales tactics seem pressurised, or you’ve been contacted out of the blue, speak to the FCA, or one of our 27,000 trusted and regulated financial advisers.”