Barclays research: not the older generation but the younger Brits were scammed the most in the past three months

Barclays research: not the older generation but the younger Brits were scammed the most in the past three months

  • Majority of Brits incorrectly assume older people are more likely to be scammed, leaving younger generations more susceptible
  • Barclays data reveals that those aged between 21 and 30 were scammed the most in the past three months
  • Barclays is reminding the public that anyone can be a victim and to stay vigilant to scam threats

(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 4-Aug-2021 — /EuropaWire/ — New research by Barclays¹ has revealed the portrait of a scam victim finding that Brits have incorrectly ranked the older generation (those aged 71+) as being the generation most at risk of scams, and think that those aged between 21–30 are the least likely to fall victim.

However, Barclays data² shows that the 21-30 age group was in fact scammed the most in the past three months (29 per cent of total scams), followed closely by those aged 31-40.

Purchase scams, when people buy goods online which don’t exist or never arrive, were the most prevalent amongst those aged 21–30, with this demographic representing 30 per cent of total purchase scams, according to Barclays data – yet only 17 per cent of poll respondents in this age bracket were aware that they could be targeted when purchasing items via an online marketplace. Worryingly, the data also shows that scammers are successfully targeting those in the youngest age bracket (11–20), with this group representing 10 per cent of total purchase scam victims.

Those aged between 31–40 were the second most targeted group for scammers, representing 24 per cent of total scams, and were particularly targeted by advance fee scams – when victims send money in advance to secure goods, service or investment which never materialises (25 per cent of total advance fee scams).

Max , 33 from London, who was duped by an advance fee scam earlier this year, said: “I have two children and during lockdown, we wanted to surprise them by getting a kitten. I looked on a popular online marketplace and found someone selling kittens that were available to go to new owners in two weeks’ time. I called him, we chatted and then paid a deposit via bank transfer. We messaged back and forth, he even sent pictures of the kitten and then I went to pick it up. I arrived and there were about 15 other people stood around with empty cat baskets, and they all had the same story as me – it was a scam!”

Contrary to popular belief, the research indicated those aged 61-70 were more alert to the possibility of a common scam (97.6 per cent), however data showed this age group is particularly susceptible to impersonation scams – especially those impersonating banks or the police (32 per cent of scams in this age group) and investment scams, which although only accounted for 17 per cent of scams in this age group, totalled 61 per cent of the value of the age group’s scam losses.

And while the recent poll indicates that the prevalence of scams is still in line with research conducted three months ago, when 84 per cent of respondents said that they had seen a rise in scams, encouragingly one in five (20 per cent) do not believe that they have been directly targeted with anything scam-related in the last three months, compared to just 4 per cent previously.

Ross Martin, Head of Digital Safety at Barclays said: “Unfortunately, fraudsters don’t discriminate when it comes to scams and everyone, irrespective of age, is susceptible to them. The reality is that if you don’t think you’d ever get scammed, you’re the ideal victim.”

“Research we have conducted shows that one in three Brits (34 per cent) have fallen victim to a scam in the past three months and of those who were scammed, 38 per cent didn’t report it to anyone. If anything raises your suspicions, talk to someone you trust and don’t ignore your concerns. Always phone the person or the company back on a trusted and validated number to confirm it’s really them and if you do spot a scam, report it to the police, to help protect yourself and others.

“We can’t over emphasise the importance of calling back and not trusting the number that has called you – often fraudsters will call from a number that looks identical to the number that a customer trusts. This impersonation of valid numbers is often a factor in duping customers into the scam. So if in doubt call back.”

Portrait of a Scam Victim
Age Group Percentge of respondents who are confident  they won’t become victims of scams Percentage of total scams by volume
11 – 20 44.7% 8.0%
21 – 30 50.5% 28.8%
31 – 40 51.9% 24.3%
41 – 50 48.5% 17.3%
51 – 60 51.1% 11.8%
61 – 70 48.6% 5.7%
> 70 49.8% 4.1%

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Notes to Editors
¹Mortar Research study of 2,000 participants, July 2021
²Barclays data on reported scams from April 1st 2021 – June 31st 2021

UK Media Relations:

SOURCE: Barclays


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