More than half of adults think they’ll never fall victim to a scam – despite 43% knowing someone who has.
A study of 2,000 Brits found 52% are confident they’ll never be caught out by a fraudulent text message or email – as they don’t reuse the same password on multiple sites (29%), and keep their social media accounts private (22%).
A naïve 16% simply think “it won’t happen to me”, while 17% feel people are stupid to fall for scams.
But nearly a third (31%) of those polled have been a victim of fraud themselves, while 43% know someone else who has.
This left victims feeling annoyed (41%), angry (34%), and upset (34%).
Liam Rawsthorne, head of fraud at Virgin Media O2, which commissioned the study, said: “It’s worrying that so many people think it’ll never happen to them and aren’t taking their security as seriously as they should.
“Using their victim’s personal information, fraudsters will try to empty bank accounts, rack up thousands of pounds of debt, and take out mobile phone contracts – before disappearing and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
“With fraud on the rise and scammers using increasingly sophisticated tricks to defraud victims, anyone can become a victim – so it’s more important than ever that people know how to stay safe.”
The study also found 52% of people have answered a phone call from an unknown number, and 35% have clicked on a link in an email without recognising it.
And one in three (34%) have clicked on a link via a text message without recognising the phone number or link.
As a result, a quarter have had money taken from their bank account, while 35% receive lots of spam emails, and 33% were repeatedly cold-called.
In a typical month, adults receive six suspected spam emails, five text messages, and five phone calls.
But 81% feel confident they can spot fraud messages, and argue they don’t reply to dodgy-looking emails (47%), regularly change passwords (32%), and never leave accounts logged in (37%).
Three in ten believe being tech savvy helps keep them safe from fraud – yet 22% of those polled, via OnePoll, admitted they use simple passwords that are easy to remember, and 23% even write their passwords down.
More than one in five (22%) also said it’s convenient for others to have access to their accounts, and have shared log-in details for their laptop (17%), personal emails (17%), and online banking (15%).
Liam Rawsthorne, from Virgin Media O2, added: “We are committed to fighting the fraudsters, and are helping customers swerve scams with tips and tricks.”
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