Scam Pandemic Continues: Barclays Reports Alarming 29% Rise in Investment Scams Over Past Year!

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Cybercrime, with its various forms of scams, is the dark side of the emerging cybersociety. The number of victims is increasing exponentially. It is only fair to call scams a pandemic. UK banking giant Barclays has disclosed a concerning 29% increase in investment scams targeting its customers over the last year, with the typical victim losing approximately £14,000. Attacks primarily occur on social media platforms, making millennials the most affected group.

According to Barclays, these investment scams now represent the majority of fraudulent losses, with the average loss amounting to a significant sum that often represents years of personal savings. The demographic data reveals that men, particularly, are more susceptible, with the average loss per scam reaching £16,306. Notably, individuals aged between 21 and 40 account for nearly half of all reported investment scam cases.

Stephanie Mac Sweeney, Head of Fraud Strategy at Barclays, expressed deep concern over the rise in such scams, emphasizing the devastating impact on victims’ financial and emotional well-being. “It’s worrying to see such a rise in investment scams – with victims often heartlessly scammed out of large sums of money that they have been saving for their future,” Mac Sweeney said. She stressed the need for a collaborative effort to combat these scams, urging social media companies to implement stricter verification processes to curb the spread of fraudulent investment advertisements.

In response to the growing threat, Barclays has shared several tips to help consumers identify potential investment scams. These include taking a moment to consider before committing to investments, skepticism towards offers that seem too good to be true, and conducting thorough research before engaging in any investment opportunities.

Data from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows a 193% increase in investment scam-related calls to their consumer helpline over the last five years. The FCA has been issuing a record 2,286 scam warnings last year—a 21% increase from the previous year. These warnings are crucial in informing the public about unregulated entities and fraudulent schemes.

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