British adults aged 34 and under are about twice as likely to fall victim to financial scams than any older age group, a new survey suggests.
About 20% of 18 to 34-year-olds have been deceived by scammers, compared with about 10% of over-35s, according to an Opinium poll carried out for online bank Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
Although 55% in this younger age group believe they are too technologically savvy to be scammed, they are also most likely to give away personal information when pressured on the phone.
Sarah Card, head of delivery and risk at Marcus by Goldman Sachs, said: “One reason why younger people could be more susceptible to fraud is they are more active in posting their personal details online, making them a target for fraudsters.
“However, fraudsters do not discriminate and no matter your age or how technologically savvy you might consider yourself, it is important that you remain vigilant.”
While millennials and Gen Z are most susceptible to pressure tactics often used by scammers, the bank has warned anyone can fall victim.
Former SBS sergeant and star of SAS: Who Dares Wins Jason Fox said: “Under pressure, our ability to make rational decisions is seriously impaired, which is why anyone can be tricked into doing something they wouldn’t usually.
“Time urgency, pretending to be a voice of authority or offering something too good to be true are all pressure tactics which fraudsters use to encourage you to fall for their scam.
“Always remember to take a moment to step back from the situation, rationalise and seek advice if something doesn’t feel right.”
Cost of living scams
Three in 10 adults have been targeted by scams which exploit the cost of living crisis, according to the research, with 42% more worried about scams than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 40 million UK adults have been targeted by scammers this year, a 14% increase compared with last year, research by Citizens Advice revealed in June.
Tactics used by cost of living scammers include emails claiming to be from the regulator Ofgem asking people to enter their bank details to get a £400 energy rebate, or claiming the government is giving £200,000 out at random to people who are of pension age, disabled or on a low income.
“There are a variety of types of scams out there to be aware of, including phishing emails, phone and text message scams, or those impersonating an organisation using a cloned website,” added Ms Card.
“Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests and trust your instincts; no trusted organisation would put pressure on you to make a transaction on the spot.”
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What to do if you’ve been scammed
Talk to your bank or card company immediately if you’ve handed over any financial and sensitive information or made a payment.
Report the scam to Citizens Advice and Action Fraud.
Forward text scams to 7726 to report it to your mobile phone provider.