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Fifth of 18 to 34-year-olds have fallen victim to financial scams – survey

People aged 34 or under are around twice as likely to have fallen victim to a scam as older age groups, a survey suggests.

Just over a fifth (22%) of 18 to 34-year-olds said they had been the victim of financial fraud at least once, compared with 12% of people aged 35 to 54 and around one in 10 over-55s.

The survey of 4,000 people across the UK in September was carried out for online bank Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Despite the findings, more than half (55%) of 18 to 34-year-olds would consider themselves too technologically savvy to be scammed.

However, one in five (21%) 18 to 34-year-olds said they struggle to think clearly when put under pressure during a cold call and nearly half (48%) would act on impulse if they see something that appears to be a good deal.

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Across the survey, nearly two-thirds (64%) of people said they have regretted a decision they have made when under strain.

And, as fraudsters’ tactics have become more sophisticated, six in 10 (60%) of people believe it is harder to spot a scam now than it was five years ago.

Commenting on the findings, SAS: Who Dares Wins star Jason Fox said: “Under pressure, our ability to make rational decisions is seriously impaired, which is why anyone can be tricked into doing something they wouldn’t usually.

“Time urgency, pretending to be a voice of authority or offering something too good to be true are all pressure tactics which fraudsters use to encourage you to fall for their scam. Always remember to take a moment to step back from the situation, rationalise and seek advice if something doesn’t feel right.”

Sarah Card, head of delivery and risk at Marcus by Goldman Sachs said: “One reason why younger people could be more susceptible to fraud is they are more active in posting their personal details online, making them a target for fraudsters.

“However, fraudsters do not discriminate and no matter your age or how technologically savvy you might consider yourself, it is important that you remain vigilant.

“There are a variety of types of scams out there to be aware of, including phishing emails, phone and text message scams, or those impersonating an organisation using a cloned website. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests and trust your instincts; no trusted organisation would put pressure on you to make a transaction on the spot.”