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UK Finance’s Survey: Over 70% of young adults targeted by impersonation scams

Cristina POPOV

September 29, 2023

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UK Finance’s Survey: Over 70% of young adults targeted by impersonation scams

People under 35 being are more likely to be tricked by criminals and fall for impersonation scams, according to recent statistics from UK Finance, a body that represents more than 300 firms from the banking and finance industry.

Impersonation scams, which amounted to over 45,000 reported cases last year, involved fraudsters contacting potential victims by email, text message, or phone and claiming to represent a trusted organization. Exploiting significant financial events or deadlines (such as the end of the tax year or deadlines for cost-of-living support payments), they lured victims into sharing financial details by urging them to modify their bank details, claim a refund, or make a payment.

Confidence vs. Reality

71 % of 18 to 34-year-olds and almost half of 18-24 years surveyed said they had been contacted by an impersonation scammer. 73 %of those targeted saying they had subsequently been persuaded to either share their private details or send money to the scammers.

At the same time, the young adult demographic feels the most confident in identifying impersonation scams, as their responses in the survey indicate. A significant 90% of those aged 18-24 believe they can identify fraudulent requests online. However, only 27% always verify the legitimacy of an unexpected message or contact. This contrasts with the 60% of those over 55 who exercise more caution.

How to spot an impersonation scam

  1. Unsolicited communication, pressing you to act immediately.
  2. Texts or emails containing links to a seemingly authentic website urging you to input your information. While the site may appear legitimate, the web address is slightly different from the official website of the claimed organization.
  3. Senders’ email addresses that seem off
  4. Alerts about compromised bank accounts urging immediate action.
  5. Messages received through WhatsApp or other messaging apps financial institutions don’t usually use to contact customers.

Stay safe from impersonation scams

Although most people know they should never disclose personal information over the phone or before verifying the legitimacy of any organization asking them to do this, there are situations in which anyone can get carried away.

For those moments and enhanced overall safety, consider using tools that can do the monitoring and alerting tasks for you. Two can specifically help you protect yourself against scams, phishing, and digital identity theft.

Scam Alert feature of Mobile Security for Android / iOS detects dangerous links from SMS, messaging apps, and notifications. It warns you that a text message or notification is dangerous before you open it.

Digital Identity Protection continuously monitors the surface and dark web on your behalf in search of pieces of your data that might have leaked. You’ll know if your passwords, email or physical addresses, or card details leaked, were collected, or breached and how risky it is for you. Digital Identity Protection is the only digital monitoring service that offers personalized, detailed guidance for data management (discovery, retrieving, and deleting personal information from old accounts) while keeping you updated with new incidents and specific actions to take when they happen.

Read more about our identity protection and privacy solutions here.



Cristina POPOV

Cristina is a freelance writer and a mother of two living in Denmark. Her 15 years experience in communication includes developing content for tv, online, mobile apps, and a chatbot.

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