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When it comes to becoming a victim of increasingly sophisticated banking scams, there’s no age limit, as research from Lloyds Bank has recently revealed.
According to new data, people in the 18-34 age bracket are now just as likely to fall for schemes being run by fraudsters as those approaching or enjoying retirement. In many instances, these frauds take the form of criminals impersonating the victim’s current bank in order to dupe people into handing over eye-watering amounts of cash.
There has been just under a four-fold increase in the number of 18-34 year-olds being caught out by impersonation scams in the past 12 months, who are now as likely as those aged over 55 to fall victim to such scams.
It seems that the only difference now between millennials and the older generation is the average level of money they typically lose. Victims aged 18-34 are losing £2,630 on average to these scams – while over-55s are losing more than four times as much per scam (£10,716 on average), despite less of an increase in occurrence. Those in between (aged 45-54) are being tricked out of £3,573 on average, while there are also more than three times as many people falling victim in this age group.
Recent research from Lloyds Bank and YouGov found that one in four UK adults knew someone who had been duped by a fraudster, and one in 10 have fallen victim to a financial scam at some point in their lives. Meanwhile a third (33%) said they have been targeted by fraudsters but were able to put a stop to it. Paul Davis, retail fraud director at Lloyds Bank, said: “While we are working 24/7 behind the scenes to protect customers and millions of pounds have been frozen, every day fraudsters are trying to trick people into handing over their personal information like a PIN or password or transferring cash… The more we all know about spotting scams, the safer we will all be.”
This is when a fraudster contacts your company posing as a genuine supplier and asks you to change the bank details you use to pay them. Scammers can investigate a business’s invoice details quite easily to make their approach look more convincing. They often try to hack supplier’s emails to make it look completely normal. Make sure to check directly with a real contact if you get one of these emails with a number you know and check to make sure it is genuine.
Scammers pretending to be service providers like telephone companies, rogue traders and HMRC
Fraud over the phone is when a fraudster calls claiming they’re from a trusted organisation. They can often fake the telephone number on the screen and do their research to find out some of your basic bank and personal details. Remember though, a genuine bank will never ask you for personal or financial details like your PIN number or full banking password (even by tapping it into your phone keypad). They will never ask you to login on your banking online while you are on the phone.
This is when you’re called by someone pretending to be from your bank or building society and convinced to tell them your card details over the phone. They arrange for a courier to pick up your card to take it away for evidence or to have it destroyed. A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your full card details, PIN, full password or to move money to another account.
Investment scams on social media e.g. Instagram ‘too good to be true’ opportunities
This is becoming a tactic used by more and more fraudsters as it is easy for them to pop up on your Instagram. They advertise schemes that promising high returns within 24 hours after an initial investment. After you’ve sent the first payment via bank transfer, they send you screenshots showing huge ‘profits,’ but when you go to cash in your investment, your money – and the fraudsters – have disappeared.
These often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use LinkedIn or other social media sites or even email to make contact. Scammers will go to great lengths to gain your interest and trust, such as sharing ‘personal information’ and even sending you gifts. They may take months to build the relationship and pretend to need money for some sort of personal emergency. They might also ask for money to pay for travel to come and visit.
For more ideas and easy to understand guidance on how to stay safe when banking online, take a look at our guide to Seven security rules to keep online banking safe.
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