Fraud: Younger generations at risk of being scammed
Brits at higher risk are also among those less worried about AI-enabled fraud.
Millions of Brits are putting themselves at higher risk of falling victim to fraud through the personal information they share online, new research shows.
Fraud accounts for 40% of UK crime, according to government figures, and identity theft makes up almost 70% of cases filed to the National Fraud Database. It’s one of the fastest growing areas of fraud, with the number of cases increasing by 23% in 2022.
A recent Finder survey of 2,003 adults found that almost a quarter of British adults have shared personal information online that puts them at greater risk of AI fraud. And the findings showed that significantly more of those aged 25-34 share high-risk personal information than people in any other age group.
Alongside this, younger generations are far less concerned than their older counterparts about the threat of AI technology being used to commit fraud.
What are people sharing online?
The survey found that 20% of Brits have shared their name and date of birth on public social media profiles. Meanwhile, 11% have shared their full name and pet details, 4% have shared their full name and address.
Among the younger generation, over a third of those aged 25-34 admitted to having shared their full name plus at least one other personal detail – such as their date of birth or full address – on a public social media platform.
Why are younger people more at risk?
Although many of us think of elderly people as the typical victims of fraud, under-25s are more likely to be targeted by scammers, according to the trade body UK Finance.
Firstly, this is because younger people are generally more willing to share personal information online, and may not realise that fraudsters can use this to try to access their financial details and commit identity fraud.
Secondly, those who are less familiar with how financial systems work are more susceptible to being tricked into authorising payments or sharing personal information. And investing scams and “get-rich-quick” schemes can also tempt those without much experience or knowledge of investing.
How can you protect yourself?
Here are 4 straightforward ways you can protect yourself from fraud:
- If you get a call or message from an unknown number claiming to be from a well-known organisation or someone you know, hang up and call back using the official number.
- Fraudsters will try to rush you, so don’t feel under pressure to act. A legitimate company will allow you time to consider.
- Don’t click on attachments or links in emails or text messages from anyone you don’t know, even if they look legit.
- Guard your personal information and never share your full birthday or address publicly online.
About the author
Kate Steere is a deputy editor at Finder.com, specialising in banking and fintech. She has previously written for The Motley Fool UK and Fitch Solutions, where she covered a wide range of personal finance topics and kept a close eye on market trends. Kate is regularly quoted in the national media about banking, fintech and mortgages.