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Young people 'more gullible than most' when scammers call

Published 30/11/2016

'Tech-savvy' younger people are often unaware of the tricks used by phone or email scammers, Santander research suggests
'Tech-savvy' younger people are often unaware of the tricks used by phone or email scammers, Santander research suggests

Young adults are more likely than the population generally to fall for a scam, research suggests.

People aged between 18 and 34 were more likely to believe, wrongly, that their bank might ask them for their full Pin, password or security numbers or ask them to transfer money out of their account for "security reasons", Santander found.

In reality, these are common methods that fraudsters use in cold calls or unsolicited emails when posing as a legitimate body, such as a bank or the police, to trick people into handing over their personal details or cash.

Despite younger adults generally being thought of as more tech-savvy, one in five (20%) 18- to 34-year-olds wrongly thought their bank would ask them for their full Pin or password, compared with 9% of the population generally.

And 16% of 18- to 34-year-olds wrongly thought their bank might ask them to transfer cash for security reasons, compared with 7% of all adults questioned.

One in four (25%) respondents said they had been the victim of a scam, the survey of more than 2,000 people from across the UK found.

Two-fifths (41%) of these people said they felt as if something suspicious was going on at the time but many ignored their gut instincts.

Santander says it is putting new leaflets in branches and giving additional training to staff as part of an annual drive to help raise awareness of scams.

Karen Tyler, head of fraud at Santander, said: "Scams can come in many forms and our research highlights how widespread they are.

"It's worrying that so many people are unaware of what information a bank will and will not ask for - for example, a bank would never ask you to disclose your full security details.

"Falling victim to a scam can be devastating and it's therefore so important that people make sure they're aware of the different types of scams and keep their personal information safe."

Here are some tips from Santander to protect against scams:

:: Never give out personal, account or security details

:: Never allow someone remotely access to your computer following a cold call. Never log on to online banking if someone is remotely accessed to your computer

:: Do not rely on caller ID - numbers can be "spoofed" by fraudsters to make it look like they are calling from a trusted number

:: Always validate requests for new payments or changes to payment details face-to-face or by calling on an independently verified number

:: Your bank or the police will never call to ask you to transfer your money out of your account for security reasons

:: Be wary of all cold calls purporting to be from banks, police, or other trusted organisations - if you have any concerns, call back on an independently verified number

:: Never log on to online banking after clicking on a link in an email or text message

:: Install anti-virus software which includes an anti-phishing programme.

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