14th June 2022: New data from Barclays shows that young people aged 21-30 are the most likely age group to fall victim to scams, despite their perception that it won’t happen to them.
In a recent study, 76 per cent of people aged 21-30 said they are confident they would not be scammed2, but data from the Bank shows that the same age group are almost four times as likely to be a victim compared with those aged over 701.
The majority of scams (77 per cent) take place on tech platforms such as social media, purchase/auction sites or dating apps1, making younger people more susceptible to being a victim.
Purchase scams, where people buy goods which never arrive or aren’t as advertised, are by far the most common type of scam – accounting for more than half (60 per cent) of all scams in the last three months, according to Barclays’ data1. The likelihood of falling for this type of scam decreases significantly with age, with 21-30 year olds being fifteen times more likely to be a victim compared with those aged over 701.
With smartphones amongst the most common type of item fraudsters advertise, and over half (55 per cent) of 21-30 year olds planning on purchasing a new one this summer2, Barclays is warning people to be wary of ‘too good to be true offers’.
To help raise awareness about how easy it is to be duped on social media, Barclays has partnered with Perri Kiely, TV and radio presenter and member of the dance troupe Diversity. According to a poll posted by Perri on social media over the weekend, 64 per cent of his 722K followers said they thought he should go for a phone that was being sold for half its market price.
Perri Kiely, Kiss FM Radio Presenter and member of Diversity, says: “Like most young people, I consider myself tech savvy as I’ve grown up with social media and I was shocked to find out how many people my age are falling for scams. The poll of my followers just shows that we don’t always question things we see on social media as much as we should, and scammers are taking advantage of this.”
The recent study by Barclays shows some of the reasons that make young people susceptible to scams. A quarter (25 per cent) said they could only go one day without replacing their smartphone if they lost it. Two in five (39 per cent) say they rarely read the T&Cs, and a third (31 per cent) admit to being willing to shop with a brand they haven’t heard of if they are offering a good deal.
Ross Martin, Head of Digital Safety at Barclays, says: “Many people picture an elderly person when they think of a scam victim, and whilst it’s true that older people are more likely to fall for higher value scams, the most common type of scams are where people are tricked into buying something they never receive.
“The best advice is if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers usually offer items for significantly lower than its value to lure you in – stop and question why any legitimate seller would do this. Check the seller’s website and be wary of anyone asking for a bank transfer rather than a debit or credit card transaction, as legitimate sellers don’t usually do this.”
For more information, please visit: www.barclays.co.uk/scams/
For further information
Notes to Editors
- Barclays data of reported scams from March - May 2022. The tech platform data-point is for January-April 2022; please note, this latter figure represents the proportion (by volume) from the scam enabler data we capture, and may not be a definitive number.
- Mortar consumer research study of 2,000 participants, May 2022
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website home.barclays.