Quarter of Brits wouldn’t admit to getting scammed

26 per cent of Brits would not admit to losing money in an online shopping scam.

New research by HSBC found that British people were more likely to reveal their salaries (27 per cent) than to admit they had been a victim of a scam.

The study also discovered that eight per cent of victims of online shopping scams have deliberately withheld their experience from friends and family.

According to the multinational bank, last Christmas £13.5 million was lost by victims of online shopping, with around 73,000 people falling victim to online shopping scams in 2019.

With nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of Brits planning to buy most of their Christmas presents online this year, and over a quarter (27 per cent) of these people doing so for the first time, HSBC UK is calling for people to be vigilant to the risk of scams and alongside this research.

The bank has created a guide to help consumers set up the ultimate scam safe shopping environment in their home and will also be hosting a scam survival bootcamp for the public.

The research also revealed that men proved to be the most secretive sex, with the research showing they are more likely to keep being a victim of an online shopping a secret from friends or family (9 per cent), compared to women (6 per cent).

To help end a “culture of secrecy” around online shopping scams, the bank has partnered with criminologist and fraud expert Dr Elisabeth Carter.

The partnership aims to expose the tricks that fraudsters use with the launch of a Scam Safe Guide and a Scam Survival Bootcamp.

The new bootcamp will give the public the opportunity to speak directly with financial experts and fraud specialists, who will share methods to avoid shopping scams and what to look out for when shopping online this year.

“Online fraudsters are active all year round, however in the run up to the festive season and with more people shopping online this year than ever before, they are all the more prevalent,” said Dr Elisabeth Carter, criminologist. “It’s vital to stay alert when online shopping, as signs of a scam can be subtle, yet research shows that 70 per cent of Brits multi-task whilst online shopping, with one in ten revealing they have shopped whilst in a Zoom meeting.

“Limiting distractions whilst online shopping lets you concentrate on spotting the key tricks of fraudsters and as such is one of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of becoming a scam victim. If you have been a victim of a scam, do not be ashamed, make sure you report it to Action Fraud.”

Ian Mason, customer experience fraud specialist at HSBC UK, said: “Fraudsters are increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, so we want people to understand there’s no shame if they become a victim of a scam. Instead we want to encourage people to share their personal stories with friends and families and help spread the word of what to look out for, so that we can work together to defeat the criminals who will go to extreme lengths to prise our hard-earned cash from us.”

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