Top tips for spotting a scam - more than five million Brits have fallen victim to financial fraud

17 June 2019

More than five million Brits (10%) have fallen victim to a financial scam at some point in their lives, new research reveals.

One in 10 UK adults say they have been a victim of some form of a financial scam, according to Lloyds Bank.

Dodgy emails (36%) and phone calls (35%) are the most common ways in which scammers target their victims.

Fraudsters also targeted victims via social media, company websites and text messages.

Despite the figures, four in five (83%) say they feel confident that they would be able to spot a financial scam, and three quarters (77%) believe they are able to keep up with the potential risks around financial scams.

A third (33%) of clued-up Brits reported that they have been targeted by fraudsters but were able to put a stop to it.

The over-65s claimed to be the most confident about spotting a financial scam (87%), compared to those aged 35-44 who felt the least confident (76%).

Paul Davis fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Bank, says: “We are a vigilant nation, yet it is clear from our research that many of us do still get caught out when it comes to scams.

"Fraudsters have adapted to changing technology by using ever more sophisticated tactics, making them more difficult to spot.

“We’re encouraging people to talk to friends and family about fraud, so that more people are aware of how to identify the tell-tale the signs of a scam. If you suspect you’ve been a target, it’s important to contact your bank immediately.”

How to spot a financial scam

There are a few things you can do to help stop these types of fraud from happening. Mr Davis has some key tips:

  • Check for spelling mistakes – Get into the habit of checking for minor spelling mistakes in the addresses of the emails you receive. For example: “Lloids Bank” instead of “Lloyds Bank”. 
  • Double check the sender is real – If you receive an email asking you to make an urgent payment, always double check the request is real by speaking to them in person, or by calling them on the number you have saved.
  • Beware of unexpected emails – Be cautious about opening any emails that you weren’t expecting (even if you think you recognise the sender), and don’t click on any links or attachments unless you are sure they are genuine. Also, watch out for spoof text messages which may look similar to genuine messages you receive from your bank.
  • Use anti-virus software and stay up to date – Always use anti-virus software to protect your devices and ensure you have downloaded the latest updates for your operating system.
  • Question any requests to share details or move money – Your bank will never ask you to share your account details like user ID, password and memorable information. You should also be alert if your bank suddenly tells you to move your money or asks you to transfer funds to a new sort code and account number. Contact them immediately if you receive any requests of this nature.
  • Make sure your internet banking site looks normal – Do not log on or key in codes from your card and reader if any of the website pages look strange or different as this may indicate a virus infection.


In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

CLAIMS ASSIST (BOLTON) LIMITED this appears on companies house with a registration number so appears genuine - they want me to send them £366 then they will release the ppi money i have been awarded - they say it is currently sat in escrow at the solicitors. many years ago i got a ppi award and im sure i received the cheque first then i had to send them their money - i remember this because i remember asking why they couldnt just take their share before they sent me the cheque. so im wondering if this is scam because they want money up front. they have sent several convincing looking emails telling me how to satisfy myself that they are genuine

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Instruct everyone that you do business with not to change payment details unless you give them instructions in person.I've done this, and strangely never had to appear in person as the number of scam emails has fallen considerably[which of course, insinuates that the scammers probably get info from crooked employees of financial institutions???]

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