Millions of Brits have fallen foul of, or been targeted by, fraudsters – with a quarter of those singled out while looking for love online.
Phone call phishing, invoice redirection fraud and cryptocurrency are also among the swindles people are most likely to fall for, followed by money laundering and pension scams.
While the poll of 2,000 adults revealed 37 per cent have sent money to someone they’ve met online with 52 per cent of these too embarrassed to tell their friends about it.
The survey was commissioned by NatWest, who are working with BAFTA nominated actor Simon Callow on the release of ‘The Scammer House of Horrors’, – a free downloadable book that aims to warn the nation about the dangers of fraud this Halloween.
Simon Callow said: “It’s frightening how advanced scams have evolved to be. I find it increasingly difficult to stay savvy to the dangers. So it’s more important than ever that we as a nation continue to educate ourselves on the new types of scams emerging, so as not to be taken advantage of.
‘’As someone who very nearly fell victim to these sophisticated scamming procedures and knows someone who lost their entire life savings, I’m extremely happy to be helping NatWest in its mission to educate the public and allow everyone to keep their finances safe.”
The study also found just 22 per cent of adults know what money muling is – a type of money laundering where someone transfers cash illegally on behalf of others.
While only 29 per cent can identify the signs of invoice redirection fraud and more modern scams such as cryptocurrency investment.
Over a quarter 28 per cent aren’t doing everything to protect themselves against fraudsters, using the same password for all devices and personal accounts.
As technology advances and scams become trickier to spot, 60 per cent have been approached by a scam on social media, and three quarters believe social media giants should do more to stop fraudulent activity happening on the platforms.
A third (33 per cent) have also seen a celebrity advertising an investment product that promises high returns and 47 per cent of those looked further into it and made the investment, according to the OnePoll data.
But 21 per cent felt more confident in an investment opportunity if it was fronted by a famous person.
Stuart Skinner, fraud and scam expert at NatWest, commented: “We are living in a digital age in which fraudsters have more outlets than ever to take advantage of unsuspecting people.
“We have created three horror stories based on real-life scams, which contain common phrases and actions used to manipulate victims.
’’It’s terrifying that these stories are drawn from real-life cases, but we hope it helps others to be equipped with the knowledge to spot and stop these scams themselves.
‘’That’s why we’ve teamed up with Simon Callow, a target of a potential scam, to help people avoid losing any of their hard-earned money in the future.”
Top 10 types of scams Brits have been targeted by
3. Identity fraud
4. Postal scam
5. Romance scam
6. Unauthorised use of one of my cards
7. Investment/cryptocurrency scam
8. Approached at home regarding building/renovation work that I didn’t ask for
9. Invoice redirection fraud
10. Money muling