Press Release

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Social sharing puts 1 in 4 Brits at greater risk of AI fraud, and younger generations are far more susceptible

  • Almost a quarter of British adults have shared personal information online that puts them at greater risk of AI fraud
  • Those aged 25-34 share significantly more personal information than any other age group
  • Younger generations are far less concerned than their older counterparts about the threat from AI technology being used to commit fraud
  • More than 4 out of 5 Brits believe that more needs to be done to tackle the issue of identity fraud in the UK

12, December, 2023, LONDON –

Almost a quarter of British adults (24%) admit to sharing information on public platforms that could put them at greater risk of AI fraud, according to a new report from personal finance comparison site finder.com.

Breaking down the type of personal information being shared: 20% of Brits have shared their name and date of birth on public social media profiles. 11% have shared their full name and pet details, 4% have shared their full name and address and 3% have shared their full name and a video or voice note with 30 seconds or more of them talking.

Iona Bain, a finance journalist and broadcaster who contributed to the report, commented “I think young people don’t necessarily understand that when they’re putting their pet’s name on social media, or sharing their address, or even just sharing their location…they are actually putting a lot of information out there that fraudsters could use to try to access their financial details and to therefore successfully perpetrate identity fraud.”

The study revealed that younger generations are far more likely to share information that can put them at risk of ID theft, particularly those aged between 25-34. Over a third (35%) of this age group admit to having shared their full name plus one other personal detail on a public social media platform. On the other end of the spectrum, those aged 55+ were the least likely to have shared these personal details online, with only 1 in 5 (20%) claiming to have done so.

Discussing the vulnerability of the younger generations when it comes to their online activity, Mike Harlock, senior financial crime manager at Moneybox, said “I would be very worried that they could be more susceptible to online scams and fraud. Even if they don’t actively fall for phishing scams, there is so much information available about someone via social media, that it could be straightforward for a fraudster to steal their identity or at least target them via social engineering attacks.”

Younger generations are far less concerned about the threat of AI technology and the part it can play in fraud.

The research found that almost two-thirds of British adults are concerned about the threat of artificial intelligence and the part it can play in aiding fraud. Almost a quarter (23%) of these individuals would go as far as describing themselves as “extremely concerned” about this issue.

Despite the general concern about the potential threat of AI technology, there was a clear generational divide in the level of worry, with younger generations far less apprehensive about the harm it can cause. Just over half (54%) of those in generation Z (aged 18-23) said they were concerned about the threat of AI technology, followed by 60% of millennials (aged 24-42), 62% of generation X (aged 43-54) and 68% of baby boomers (aged 55-73). On the other end of the spectrum, an enormous 82% of the silent generation (aged 74+) said that they were worried about the threat of AI technology and the part it can play in fraud.

Brits agree that more needs to be done to tackle the issue of identity fraud

When asked whether they believe that more needs to be done to prevent identity fraud in the UK, 86% agreed that it does, with just over 1 in 10 (11%) unsure and only 3% taking the stance that nothing more needs to be done to help tackle the problem of identity fraud in the UK.

The study also asked the public who they believe should be doing more to help tackle this issue. The top response, with half of UK adults (51%) in agreement, is that the government should be doing more to address this problem. This was closely followed by the Financial Conduct Authority (46%), the police (45%) and banks and financial institutions (45%). Almost two fifths of UK adults (39%) believe that social media companies have a duty to do more to help.

To see the white paper in full visit: https://www.finder.com/uk/improve-your-credit-score#fraudreport

Commenting on the findings, George Sweeney (DipFA), deputy editor at finder.com, said:

Fraud is a widespread problem in the UK and our latest research shows that the public overwhelmingly want more to be done to prevent ID fraud and impersonation scams (where the fraudster pretends to be from, say, your bank or HMRC). This is especially key as AI continues to advance and fraudsters use it to their advantage. However, many of us want to share personal information publicly, and of course it’s in the interest of social media companies that we continue. 2 in 5 in our survey believe social media companies should be doing more to help.

Here are 4 straightforward ways to protect yourself:

– If you get a call or message from an unknown number from someone claiming to be from an organisation you know, be wary and call back on the official number. The same goes for messages from people who claim to be friends or family – call back on the number you know.

– Don’t feel under pressure to act. Fraudsters will do all they can to rush you, but a legitimate company should allow you time to consider.

– Watch out for attachments and links in emails or text messages from anyone you don’t know, even if they look legit. Links can allow malicious software to access your device. Instead, go through a company’s official website directly.

– Guard your personal information and never share your full birthday or address publicly online. Fraudsters can use basic personal details to get more, which could then be used to impersonate you.

If you’re worried about ID theft, you can keep an eye on your credit history and check for any credit applications you don’t recognise. Several sites including Finder offer free access to your credit score.

Even industry experts don’t yet know exactly how AI will impact the next evolution of fraud, but all can agree that protecting your identity online is crucial.

Methodology:

Finder commissioned Censuswide on 03/11/23 to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+. A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com's review pages for the current correct values.

About finder.com

finder.com is a personal finance website, which helps consumers compare products online so they can make better informed decisions. Consumers can visit the website to compare utilities, mortgages, credit cards, insurance products, shopping voucher codes, and so much more before choosing the option that best suits their needs.

Best of all, finder.com is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better.

finder.com launched in the UK in February 2017 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew finder.com.au to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).

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