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Barclays issues monthly 'Scams Bulletin'

Barclays has launched a monthly 'Scams Bulletin' to inform consumers of emerging trends in criminal fraud tactics.

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Barclays issues monthly 'Scams Bulletin'

Editorial

This content has been selected, created and edited by the Finextra editorial team based upon its relevance and interest to our community.

The Bulletin monitors claims made across all Barclays personal and business current accounts, providing a single view of data and emerging trends to educate consumers on how to spot and stop scams at source, and protect their funds.

The inaugural Bulletin compares data month-to-month since the start of the year. It shows that the total value and volume of scam claims made in March and April 2024 fell by -15.7 per cent and -7.1 per cent respectively, in comparison to January and February. Across scam type, invoice and mandate claims are on the rise, while police and bank impersonation scams have seen noticeable decreases in comparison to previous months.

Barclays reports that the proportion of claims made against invoice and mandate scams doubled for those age 61-70 with the avergae claims at £12,000 - a 24.6% increase over previous months.

Kirsty Adams, fraud & scams expert at Barclays says: “Invoice scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Scammers target suppliers, creating fake emails requesting invoice payments that can look seriously legitimate.

“It is always worth double checking invoice and payment details against a previous invoice and if in any doubt, verify the details or amount with a known contact from the business over the phone.”

The volume of scams taking place via text or a message app made up 8.2 per cent of all scam claims in March-April 2024, a marginal fall compared to January-February’s 8.5 per cent. Scams originating on SMS/messaging apps accounted for a smaller share of the total value of claims, at 5.6 per cent, with the average loss standing at £2.1K.

Says Adams: “Social media platforms are the number one source of scams, however, our data shows that scammers are frequently targeting victims via text message too. There’s a risk people will assume that because someone has their number, they’re getting in touch with a genuine request.

“Family and friend impersonation scams, where a scammer pretends to be someone you know in order to get you to transfer money at a moment in need, have become worryingly commonplace. Scammers also use mobiles to target victims with investment and advance fee scams - where those targeted are duped into paying an upfront fee and for a service or product that doesn’t arrive.

“We’re warning everyone to stay alert and do their due diligence before communicating with any new number. If you believe you’re in contact with someone you trust, give them a call. And if you receive an unsolicited message requesting money, that should set alarm bells ringing.”

Police and bank impersonation scams decreased in both volume and value between March and April, implying that consumers are becoming better informed and more wary of this criminal tactic .

Adams says: “There are fluctuations in scam tactics throughout the year, but it’s encouraging to see this is one scam type that has seen a decrease.

“With so much work being done across the industry to educate consumers, it is plausible that people are increasingly wary of impersonation scams, but our work is not done. As scammers’ tactics continue to evolve, it’s imperative that we continue to invest in arming the public with information and tools to spot and stop scams.”

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