Scammers now target under-35s on WhatsApp

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Image Source: Tech Thirsty

Scammers are increasingly using young adults as their “primary target” by deceiving them into sending money through social media sites like WhatsApp.

According to a council representing the banking sector, frauds that prey on trust are particularly prevalent among younger people. Additionally, UK Finance warned about the surge in tax and energy bill frauds due to rising living expenses. It said criminals were “building on people’s concerns” about price increases.

Although people of different ages are falling for scams, the banking industry body claimed that “younger age groups are generally the major target.”

Due to the bulk of scams on social media, shopping websites, and dating apps, data from Barclays this month also revealed that persons in the age range of 21 to 30 were the most likely to become victims.

According to UK Finance, con artists were using online and social media platforms to prey on “weaknesses outside of the financial system” and target people of all ages.

The law would protect you if money was taken from your account, obtained bank information, and made payments. Your bank should ultimately reimburse that money, so they have a strong incentive to stop this kind of wrongdoing. As a result, the number of fraudulent transactions has decreased, and record quantities of larceny have been stopped, proving that it is effective.

The bad news for consumers is that the fraud that is most challenging to detect and stop is also the fraud that is expanding the fastest. You do not have the same legal and financial safeguards if you are tricked into making a payment, an investment, or a transfer.

Even so, you should contact your bank right away. Although they are under no need to, some would offer goodwill money-back gestures, and some may be able to track down the payment and refund it.

It’s important to reiterate the recommendation to take a second to think before acting because younger people are more frequently targeted by these scams and are frequently more inclined to fall for them.

According to the trade group, tactics that scammers use to defraud individuals are changing. At the height of the pandemic, initiatives focusing on cost-of-living issues had taken the role of fake delivery texts requesting payment or NHS Covid-19 pass scams, it claimed.

Scammers are now impersonating many organizations, including the NHS, banks, and government agencies, through phone calls, texts, emails, phony websites, and social media posts.

According to UK Finance, a sort of fraud where victims were tricked into transmitting money and personal information increased 39 percent to £583 million in 2021 from 2020.

Authorized Push Payment fraud (APP), which occurs when victims believe they are funding a legitimate organization, is on the rise and, in 2021, for the first time, outpaced fraud losses on bank and credit cards, which declined by 7%. However, less than half (47%) of the £246.8 million in losses were given back to APP scam victims.

The banking industry trade group described impersonation frauds as being among the “most harmful and widespread,” along with investment and purported “romance” schemes.

Investment fraud cases increased by 57%, and impersonation schemes increased by 36% in 2020. Most losses from APP crime in 2021 were attributable to investment scams, in which a perpetrator persuades their victim to transfer money to a fictional fund or to pay for a fraudulent investment. Losses rose by 60% to £166.2 million.

The amount of money lost to scammers in so-called romance scams, in which the victim is convinced to send money to someone they have met online—often through dating websites or social media—and with whom they feel they are in a relationship, more than doubled in 2021 to £30.6 million.

Because payments were made over a long time and thieves had already moved money by the time the crime was detected, payment service providers were only able to recover £12.6m, or 41%, of the losses from romance scams.

Fraud theft was £1.3 billion in 2021, the highest amount ever, a rise of 8% from the year before.