Scammers are becoming more sophisticated with their tactics, and recent data published by UK Finance reveals that the UK is losing millions of pounds to impersonation scams each year. The trade association found that in 2022, £177.6 million was lost to impersonation scams, indicating the significant impact these types of scams can have on individuals and the wider economy.
Impersonation scams often involve criminals posing as trusted organisations such as banks, utility companies, or the police, and requesting money or personal information via email, text, or phone call. The scammer may trick the victim by using official-looking branding or a spoofed phone number or email address to make the request appear legitimate.
In 2022, there were 45,367 cases of impersonation scams reported in the UK. Unfortunately, the research conducted by UK Finance revealed that just 51% of individuals always check whether a request for personal data or money is legitimate. The statistics are particularly alarming for younger adults, with only 38% of 18-34-year-olds reporting that they always checked.
To help combat the rise of impersonation scams, UK Finance recommends that individuals take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or information. They advise challenging any unsolicited communication and suggest that people protect themselves and their finances by contacting their bank immediately if they believe they’ve fallen victim to a scam.
While it’s essential to remain vigilant and take precautions to safeguard your personal and financial information, the responsibility of protecting individuals from scams falls on businesses and organisations too. Firms must provide education to their customers and employees about how to recognise and report scams. They must also implement security measures to prevent cybercriminals from accessing personal information.
In conclusion, the data published by UK Finance highlights the importance of staying aware of the risks and taking steps to protect yourself from impersonation scams. With the rise of digital communication, it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant and take precautions to safeguard your personal and financial information. It’s crucial that businesses and organisations also take steps to educate and protect their customers and employees from these types of scams. By working together, we can combat the rise of impersonation scams and minimise their impact on society.