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Major New Research Reveals Who is Really at Risk from Scams

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New data from Barclays has revealed today that young people are five and a half times more likely to fall victim to scams than those over 65, with 30 per cent of 18-24 year old scam victims not believing ‘there is not much to do’ to protect themselves in future.

However, impersonation scams, where a criminal pretends to be from the police or the victim’s bank and asks the victim to make a payment, sees the largest concentration in the over 65s. These can be particularly devastating, with a third of cases reported to Barclays over £5000.

Nearly two thirds of high value shopping scams are from London, East and South East England.

Barclays has revealed the findings as it launches new measures to fight crooks, including becoming the first UK bank to introduce a new call verification feature for its online and mobile banking customers so they can be sure the call from their bank is genuine.

Ross Martin, Barclays’ Head of Digital Safety, said:

“Barclays has stepped up its mission to educate customers about the growing risks of scams, investing more than £18 million during the past two years on our national fraud and scam prevention campaign. As part of our continued efforts to beat scammers, our new call verification feature will give customers extra confidence when picking up the phone to someone from Barclays.”

In Wales, one in 20 people (5 per cent) have been scammed in the last five years, this figure in London jumps to one in five people (19 per cent). Looking at the UK as a whole, this translates to one in five people being a victim of scam, with exactly half of the victims (50 per cent) under the age of 34.

UK’s top ten scam cities

  1. London & Plymouth
  2. Sheffield & Southampton
  3. Manchester
  4. Liverpool
  5. Newcastle & Birmingham
  6. Belfast
  7. Leeds and Norwich

Barclays commitment to beating scammers

To help customers protect themselves against impersonation scams, Barclays is becoming the first UK bank to introduce a new call verification feature for its online and mobile banking customers so they can be sure the call from their bank is genuine.

When a customer receives a call from Barclays and are concerned about the caller’s identity, they will be offered the chance to receive an alert in their app or online banking confirming the details of the employee who is calling them. The customer can then choose to accept the call, knowing that they are not giving out any sensitive information to the wrong person.

This new functionality will be rolled out from today to Barclays Premier customers and will be available to all customers in the coming months.

Barclays’ top tips for preventing scams

  1. Never share your PIN, Passcode or Password with anyone – even if they claim to be from the police or your bank
  2. Do not click on any links, or open any attachments in emails from people you don’t recognise
  3. No genuine bank or the police would ask you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ – ignore anyone who asks you to do this, whether it’s by phone, email or any other method.
  4. Watch out for deals that look too good to be true

For more details on how to stay safe, visit www.barclays.co.uk/security