General Insurance Article - Men lose twice as much money to scammers than women


Male scam victims have lost more than twice as much money as females in the last 12 months, insight from Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, reveals.

 The research finds that one in five (17%) UK consumers fell victim to a scam or fraudulent activity in the last year, with nearly a third (29%) losing money as a result. Men lost an average of £2,780 each, while women lost £1,133. Overall, the average amount of money UK consumers lost to scams was £1,988 per person, rising to £4,073 for those aged over 55.
 
 Worryingly, one in ten (11%) scam victims did not take any action once they realised that they had been targeted by fraudsters in the past 12 months. Among those who had been scammed:
 
 • Only a third alerted their bank (34%) or reported the activity to authorities (33%)
 • Just 21% warned their friends and family
 • Less than half (44%) changed their personal details such as passwords
 
 Tommy Burns, Risk and Financial Crime Manager at Phoenix Group, said: “There’s been a flurry of scams in the last year, with fraudsters taking advantage of the pandemic to target an increasing number of victims. Many people are losing significant amounts of money to scammers, yet not all victims take action and report suspicious activity, leaving themselves and others susceptible to further fraudulent activity.
 
 “For victims of financial fraud, the first port of call should be to inform their service provider who can take whatever steps are possible to protect their money. Anyone that has been scammed online should change passwords so that scammers can’t infiltrate other accounts too. Reporting the activity to the relevant authorities will help prevent similar activity happening again and flagging to family and friends will increase awareness around the topic, and hopefully protect others in future.”
 
 Acting upon suspicious activity
 
 Phoenix’s research also finds that more than a third (36%) of the UK public have received unsolicited financial advice in the last 12 months, 47% of whom thought it was suspicious or not legitimate. While the majority (52%) simply ignored it, a small proportion did take action:
 • 19% warned friends and family
 • 15% posted a warning on social media or online
 • 11% reported it to the company they were claiming to be from
 • 5% reported it to the police
 
 Phoenix shares guidance on what you should do if you have fallen victim to a scam:
 
 1. Report it to your provider if you’ve lost money. When you contact your bank, they will take immediate action to protect your account so no more money can be taken out. They can also block and replace your cards if they have been compromised and check if you can get your money back.
 
 2. Change your passwords as soon as possible. If you have used the same password on any other accounts, you should immediately change them too. Make sure to create a strong password, using numbers and special characters. Avoid using something obvious, such as your name or date of birth, to create a new password.

 
 3. Gather all the details of the scam and report it to relevant authorities. This not only helps enforcement authorities to track down and stop the criminals responsible, but also helps to prevent other people from being scammed. When filing a report, make sure you include who you have been in touch with and the type of information you have shared with them such as bank details.

 Reports should be made to:
 
 • Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) or by calling 0300 123 2040 or
 • Police Scotland (for customers resident in Scotland) – by calling 101
 
 4. Your computer has been infected by a virus – get it checked. Sometimes scammers trick victims into clicking on a compromised email or text link to infect your device with a virus which allows them to monitor your online activity and store your personal data. Get your device professionally checked and cleaned to remove the harmful software and ensure that the device is safe to use.
  

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