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Barclays reports large spike in investment scams

Barclays reports large spike in investment scams

Barclays Bank is calling for social media platforms to act fast to improve verification of financial adverts after reporting a large spike in investment scams.

Investment scams accounted for a third (33 per cent) of all money customers lost to scammers in 2023, up 23 per cent year-on-year, according to Barclays data. Of all scam types, investment scams made up the greatest share of total claim values, with the volume of investment scams increasing by almost a third.

Barclays says this spike is being fuelled by scammers taking advantage of their ability to promote unverified financial adverts on social media sites, with more than 6 in 10 investment scams now taking place on these platforms.

Barclays data shows millennials and men are particularly susceptible - men’s average investment scam claim increases to £16,306, while claims by young people aged 21-40 account for 48 per cent of all investment scams.

Stephanie Mac Sweeney, head of fraud strategy at Barclays says: “It’s worrying to see such a rise in investment scams - with victims often heartlessly scammed out of large sums of money that they have been saving for their future. The banking industry works hard to educate, identify and intercept scams, but the only way to drive real change is to target these scams at their source. With the majority of investment scams now taking place on their platforms, social media firms must take responsibility, act on their promises and deliver a robust verification system to protect innocent people from falling prey to fraudulent investment adverts.”

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