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Scam epidemic hits seven in ten Brits

Scam epidemic hits seven in ten Brits

More than seven in 10 UK adults have been targeted by scams in the last 12 months, receiving an average of three scam attempts each week, according to data from NatWest.

Scams through digital platforms, social media firms and telecommunications companies make up the entirety of the top 10 financial scams Brits say they experienced this year, with phishing scams (37%), trusted organisation scams (21%) and refund scams (13%) the most prevalent - as over a quarter (28%) of the nation say they’ve seen an increase in the amount they are being targeted compared to last year.

Stuart Skinner, fraud expert from NatWest, comments: “We continue to see scams on the rise, especially through digital and social media channels. With the increase in new digital tactics used by fraudsters, it’s becoming increasingly harder for consumers to spot, avoid and track.

“Messaging platforms including WhatsApp and social media sites are providing more channels for scammers to operate and reach people through. It can be hard for people to keep up with what they should be looking out for next.”

The scam epidemic is proving to be a digital turn off for some Brits, according to consumer research commissioned by NatWest.

With digital scams on the rise, 16% know someone who has refused to shop online because they are concerned about being targeted and one in ten (10%) know someone who won’t book their holiday online to avoid being scammed.

New technologies are also a cause for concern. Eight in ten of those polled are worried that impersonation fraud may become harder to detect in the next five years because of the rise in AI - with 18% saying they have replied to a message from impersonator in the past, initially believing it to be a friend of family member.

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