Callous fraudsters more likely to target young people aged 18 to 30 than the elderly, says bank
Young people are more likely to be victims of fraud than older generations because of the amount of personal information they reveal online, it has been warned.
TSB head of fraud Ashley Hart gave the warning ahead of a workshop the bank is holding in Stowmarket to make people more aware of a crime it believes is becoming increasingly widespread.
Figures from crime-fighting organisation Action Fraud have revealed that fraudsters conned Suffolk residents and business out of £5.9million in a six-month period last year, with £758,000 being the largest single amount lost in one go.
Mr Hart said many members of the public commonly believe that older people are more likely to fall victim to conmen through so-called “social engineering scams”, where they are persuaded to deposit large amounts money by bogus operatives.
“Don’t get me wrong, that does happen,” he said.
“But you’re more likely to fall victim between the ages of 18 and 30.”
Of the 2,433 Suffolk crimes reported to Action Fraud between October 2017 and March 2018, the largest number of offences – 593 – came from cheque, card and online banking fraud.
One victim lost £278,000 in a dating scam, while 37% of the 2,433 crimes reported were via a mobile phone – with 12% through online sales and 11% through email.
Mr Hart said the way organised criminal gangs target younger people is “totally different” from how they go after their seniors.
“People are much more engaged on social media and are far more willing to share information,” he said.
For example, many people will share their mother’s maiden name on Facebook or give clues as to their address, making it easier for fraudsters to convince people they are genuine when they telephone claiming there is a problem with someone’s account.
“You have to have in mind that everything you’re sharing in public can be accessed by some criminals,” Mr Hart said.
“We emphasise that if you’re in doubt, just stop and think about what you’re doing and call your bank before you get rushed into a transaction.”
The workshop at TSB’s Stowmarket branch in Market Place at 10am on Thursday, January 17 is designed to alert people to the tactics fraudsters use so they can avoid falling victim.
Anyone can attend the event, which will start with a presentation before people will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one to staff about the issue.
It follows a similar event held at TSB Stowmarket in December.