A frightening surge in scam cases during the pandemic has been revealed.
New figures released by Barclay’s shows that the second half of 2020 saw a record breaking increase in scams, with fraudsters seemingly taking advantage of public uncertainty during the pandemic.
With money stealing scams hitting record highs, the Brits have been urged to stay wary.
The study found that “ high-value and complex scams” have rocketed by 66%, with “fraudsters cashing in on the nation’s uncertainty” during the ongoing global health crisis.
Scams involving copycat websites and scammers convincingly posing as trustworthy brands in a bid to dupe people out of money accounted for 29% of the increase.
Meanwhile a big rise in fraudsters posing as banks to convince people to move money to a ‘safe’ account by claiming their funds are at risk has also been seen.
The Barclays survey of over 2,000 adults also found that a third had already fallen victim to a scam and those who did were too embarrassed to report the crime.
The public are being urged to stay vigilant against scams and to come forward if they have been targeted in order to banish stigmatised feelings of shame over falling for a scam.
Jim Walters, head of Barclays has said, “With more and more Brits finding themselves the victim of fraud and scams, Barclays is challenging the stigma associated with being embarrassed and encouraging people to speak out about their experiences.
“If you’re suspicious, talk to someone you trust. Don’t be afraid to admit to being duped into a scam. When you receive a suspicious email, phone call, or text message, never assume it’s who you think. And most importantly, don’t ignore your concerns. If ever in doubt, speak out.”
Barclays advises everyone to be warier when it comes to their money, “take five minutes before acting on a message, phone call or email because you’re most likely to fall victim in the heat of the moment” they advise.
If you’re a Barclays customer using their apps and online banking, you are able to freeze your credit and debit cards if you think your money is at risk. You should also make sure your security software on devices is updated and never disclose sensitive banking information over the phone.