Belfast Telegraph

Young people less likely to report losing money to fraud – survey

A new survey from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland reveals more than one third of Irish people say they have lost money to fraudsters.

The average sum of money stolen in Ireland by fraudsters is 1,000 euro, a survey found
The average sum of money stolen in Ireland by fraudsters is 1,000 euro, a survey found

By Aine McMahon PA

Young people are less likely to report they have been a victim of a scam compared to older people, a survey has found.

One third of Irish people say they have lost money to a fraudster, a survey from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland revealed.

The average sum of money stolen in Ireland by fraudsters is 1,000 euro, but that figure rises to 1,320 euro among people aged 55 and over.

It is almost six times the amount stolen from young adults aged between 18 and 24 who had, on average, 228 euro stolen.

While more older people are targeted than younger people, the survey found people aged over 55 are most likely to report fraud attempts to the authorities, with 38% contacting their bank and/or gardai compared to 14% of young adults aged 18 to 24.

National president of Active Retirement Ireland Kay Murphy said older people tend to be more trusting of strangers and are more likely to be targeted by fraudsters.

The survey shows that 22% of older people are targeted at least weekly by attempts to defraud them.

“We’re an older generation but a more trusting generation. I grew up with the key in the door because it was never locked. We trusted everyone and to an extent, we still do,” said Ms Murphy.

Almost half (45%) of older people make a point of telling family, friends and colleagues about their experience compared to 39% of young adults in the 18-24 age bracket.

The survey found over-55s were the only age group not to report feeling embarrassed for being targeted by scammers.

Ms Murphy said no one should feel too embarrassed to admit they have been scammed: “People who have fallen prey to a scam should not be embarrassed.

“If you make a mistake, just admit it and try to put it right if possible. You might feel silly when you report it, but what about it? You’re better off reporting it to gardai and getting it sorted.”

People are being encouraged to “check, chat and challenge” a loved one as part of the Fraud Awareness Week which gets under way from today until September 29.

People aged 55 and over were the slowest of all age groups to realise when money or personal details had been stolen. On average, 37% of Irish people noticed their details were stolen within 24 hours compared to just 26% of older people within the same time frame.

Ms Murphy said her credit and debit card were compromised by fraudsters several years ago and urged people to be vigilant and contact their bank or gardai if they suspect they have scammed.

“I had 2,500 euro out of my credit card and 1,500 euro on my visa debit card compromised. When my credit card was compromised, it happened at a very inconvenient time because I was going on holiday,” she said.

“I was due to travel to the States so I rang up the bank and told them to be aware of any American transactions on the dates I was going to be there for.

“They casually mentioned that the card was overdrawn by 2,500 euro. It nearly floored me. They told me a payment had been made to a drama school in England so of course it was not me. I was refunded and the bank were helpful but I was very cross about the inconvenience.”

Niamh Davenport, of the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland FraudSMART programme, said the survey shows reluctance among some older people to ask a family or friend for a second opinion if something looks suspicious.

“We all know someone who has been scammed, young or old, but it’s only by checking with each other that it becomes easier to spot the trends and tell-tale signs of fraudsters at work,” she said.



From Belfast Telegraph