(IN BRIEF) A new study from Barclays reveals that 76% of UK citizens feel unsafe on social media platforms due to scams, with 87% of scams originating on tech platforms. Scams have risen by 24% in the past quarter, led by purchase and investment scams. In response, Barclays proposes four policy recommendations:
- Government Collaboration: Suggests creating a unified Government group to coordinate efforts against scams.
- Mandatory Anti-Scam Measures: Calls for mandatory anti-scam protocols, particularly for tech companies.
- Transparency: Recommends making organizations publish scams data to inform users about risks.
- Victim Reimbursement Fund: Proposes a fund financed by firms responsible for scams to reimburse victims.
Barclays CEO Matt Hammerstein emphasizes the need for collective action to combat scams and protect individuals and the economy.
(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON, 9-Aug-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — A staggering 76% of British individuals express feelings of insecurity on social media platforms due to the presence of scammers, as per recent research by Barclays (1). The bank’s proprietary data underscores the gravity of the issue, indicating that a whopping 87% of scams transpire on tech platforms, encompassing social media, online marketplaces, and dating apps (2).
The surge in scams is a pressing concern, with a 24% increase reported in the last quarter compared to the same period last year (3). Predominant among these are purchase scams, constituting 66% of all scams, where goods are purchased but never received or don’t match the advertised description (3). Investment scams, accounting for 30% of all monetary losses despite representing only 5% of cases, have caused the greatest financial damage (3).
In light of these challenges, Barclays has formulated four substantial policy recommendations to combat the growing prevalence of scams:
- Establish a cross-Government group within the Home Office to coordinate regulatory bodies, policy makers, industry entities, and companies from various sectors. This cohesive approach aims to combat scams effectively, streamlining efforts and aiding victims.
- Implement mandatory anti-scam measures, particularly for tech companies, deviating from the current voluntary measures suggested by the Government.
- Mandate organizations to disclose their scams data, informing consumers of risks associated with their platforms. Tech firms and payment service providers should publish data on the scams transpiring on their platforms.
- Introduce a victim reimbursement fund, financed by all firms implicated in scam perpetration, including tech companies and banks. This initiative incentivizes organizations to prioritize scam prevention and holds them accountable.
Matt Hammerstein, CEO of Barclays UK, highlighted the escalating scams epidemic, especially in the realm of tech platforms, and underscored the need for joint efforts from tech organizations, the Government, and regulators to curb this prevalent crime. He emphasized that without collaborative action, the unchecked growth of scams poses a significant threat to individuals and the economy.
Barclays is a versatile British bank with diversified operations across consumer banking, payments, global corporate, and investment banking, supported by technology and operational services. For more information, visit www.barclays.co.uk/.