1/3 of UK population hit by phone scams

Are you among the 21 million people in the UK that has been hit by phone scams? A new report from YouGov and Equifax has revealed a third of the population has experienced fraud or a scam after answering an unsolicited phone call.

And findings from Citizens Advice, those aged between 40 and 60 years old are the most affected by scams, with 34% claiming to have been victims of fraud.

Who is most at risk from phone scams?

The online YouGov research commissioned by Equifax reveals that a third of the UK population has experienced fraud or a scam after answering a phone call from a company or someone they didn’t know. A further 14% clicked on a link within an email from a company or person they didn’t know.

Those aged 55+ are most likely to have experienced a telephone scam, with 37% being victims of this type of fraud. And over 1 in 10 (11%) across all age groups who have experienced a scam lost money as a result of a scam, with 45 to 54 year olds most likely to lose out financially (13%).

In addition, 1 in 5 (21%) said they had experienced a virus on their computer or device, with 45 to 54 year olds being most vulnerable (29%).

Lisa Hardstaff, identity fraud expert at Equifax, says, “Our research shows that ‘life established’ individuals – those who are settled with several financial assets – are the most affected by unsolicited phone calls and emails which result in fraud.

“This could be because they have the most assets to lose and are therefore an appealing target. Or the fact that they are most likely to report a fraud or scam, meaning there is more robust industry data on this age group.

“But whatever the case, we think Scam Awareness Month provides an ideal opportunity to highlight the risks posed by scammers who use sophisticated methods to trick consumers out of their savings and personal data.

“We urge people not to give away any personal information over the phone or by email.  A legitimate company will never ask for bank details or passwords. By taking simple precautions consumers can stay safe and keep the scammers at bay.”

How to stop cold callers

One way to help stop phone scams is to stop your number being available for cold calls, here’s how…

Need to know how to avoid a phone scam? Check out How to avoid the top 5 phone scams.

Have you ever experienced a phone scam? Let us know your experience in the comments section…

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