MORE than half of adults think they’ll never fall victim to a scam – despite 43 per cent knowing someone who has.
A study of 2,000 Brits found 52 per cent are confident they’ll never be caught out by a fraudulent text message or email, as they don’t reuse the same password on multiple sites (29 per cent) and keep their social media accounts private (22 per cent).
And a naïve 16 per cent simply think ‘it won’t happen to me’ while 17 per cent feel people are stupid to fall for scams.
But 31 per cent of those polled have been a victim of fraud themselves, while 43 per cent know someone else who has.
This has left victims feeling annoyed (41 per cent), angry (34 per cent) and upset (34 per cent).
Liam Rawsthorne, head of fraud at Virgin Media O2, which commissioned the study, said: “It’s worrying that so many people think it’ll never happen to them and aren’t taking their security as seriously as they should.
Warning against scams that could clear your account including sim-swaps
Urgent Facebook warning over Marketplace scam that could cost you thousands
“Using their victim’s personal information, fraudsters will try to empty bank accounts, rack up thousands of pounds of debt and take out mobile phone contracts – before disappearing and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
“With fraud on the rise and scammers using increasingly sophisticated tricks to defraud victims, anyone can become a victim so it’s more important than ever that people know how to stay safe.”
The study also found 52 per cent of people have answered a phone call from an unknown number, and 35 per cent have clicked on a link in an email without recognising it.
While 34 per cent have clicked on a link via a text message without recognising the phone number or link.
As a result, a quarter have had money taken from their bank account, while 35 per cent receive lots of spam emails and 33 per cent were repeatedly cold called.
In a typical month, adults receive six suspected spam emails, five text messages and five phone calls.
But 81 per cent feel confident they can spot fraud messages and argue they don’t reply to dodgy looking emails (47 per cent), regularly change passwords (32 per cent) and never leave accounts logged in (37 per cent).
Three in 10 believe being tech savvy helps keep them safe from fraud, yet 22 per cent of those polled via OnePoll admitted they use simple passwords that are easy to remember.
And 23 per cent write their passwords down.
More than one in five also said it’s convenient for others to have access to their accounts and have shared log-in details for their laptop (17 per cent), personal emails (17 per cent) and online banking (15 per cent).
Liam Rawsthorne, from Virgin Media O2 added: “We are committed to fighting the fraudsters and are helping customers swerve scams with tips and tricks."
In August 2022, a woman revealed she was scammed into giving £2,400 to fraudsters posing as lotto winners.
Clare O'Connor, 50, from Kent, believed she was talking to EuroMillions winners Jess and Joe Thwaite, after finding a Facebook group chat called the "Joe Hess Thwaite Help Foundation."
Ms O'Conner paid the conmen over two grand before deciding to report the scam on advice of a friend.
She said: "I just wanted to help my mum out and pay for the bills.
"She's a pensioner and needed help with the cost of living at the moment – I needed to sort myself out too."
Earlier this year, Paula Boughton was tricked into sending £16,000 to fraudsters over WhatsApp when she believed she was communicating with her daughter.
Paula explained: "I received a text message from what I presumed was my daughter, asking me to delete the old phone number as she'd been given a new number."
Daughter Sam described how she "felt sick" when Paula informed her she had been swindled for almost £16,000.
She said: "Why on Earth, when I know she's savvy with things and technology and you know, knowing there's a lot of fraud out there and fake scams, why would she pay that much money?
Most read in News
Tributes to 'beautiful' woman, 21, who died 'accidentally' inside hotel room
Man, 34, arrested on suspicion of murder after Olivia, 9, gunned down at home
Baby girl left fighting for life after nursery 'assault' as woman arrested
Putin critic 'commits suicide' in 9th suspicious death of exec linked to war
"Then when I got here and I learned more about the situation, I realised how she had paid it and how she had got to that point."
Fortunately, her bank, Santander, were able to stop the last transaction and have refunded the mum the rest of the money.
Source: Read Full Article