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Barclays reports surge in lockdown impersonation scams

Barclays reports surge in lockdown impersonation scams

Barclays is reporting a surge in impersonation scams over the last month, with romance 'catfishing' swindles targeting lonely lockdown singles proving particularly popular.

Figures for scams involving con artists pretending to be - for example police, bank staff or HMRC - in order to obtain personal information or convince victims to send payments, nearly doubled in June, compared to the previous month.

Romance ‘catfish’ scams - where victims are convinced to make a payment to fake lovers they’ve met on dating apps - are up by 86%.

Barclays' data shows that value per claim tends to be highest in investment scams. These take place when a scammer convinces an investor to move their money to a fictitious fund offering high returns.

Jim Winters, head, fraud, Barclays, says: "They [scammers] have taken advantage of the lockdown situation and targeted individuals at a time when they may be feeling more vulnerable and have more time on their hands to entertain such exchanges.

"They may also not have the support networks around them that might otherwise stop them falling victim in the moment."

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