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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Managers most likely to fall victim to fraud – cyber expert’s tips on protecting details online

From Royal Mail scams to Apply Pay text scams, over 40 million Britons have been targeted by fraudsters this year, with losses per person higher than in other major Western economies (the US, Canada, Australia). Business owners in the UK have been warned to keep their guards up as the latest figures reveal UK businesses have lost £59.2 million to fraud in the first half of 2021.

But, who falls victim to scams the most?

Intrigued, Claims.co.uk examined official ONS survey data from 33,735 people over the age of 16, to uncover the most common characteristics of fraud and computer misuse victims in the UK. With scammers on the rise, a cybersecurity expert’s tips on keeping personal details safe online were also obtained. 

Individuals who fall victim to fraud possess THESE characteristics:

Age group % of fraud victims   Occupation % of fraud victims   Hours out of home on an average weekday % of fraud victims   Number of evening visits to bar in last month % of fraud victims
45-54 7.7   Managerial/profess-ional occupations 8.1   7 hours or longer 7.4   4+ times a month 7.9
55-64 7.3   Intermediate occupations 7.1   3 hours or more but less than 7 hours 6.5   1-3 times a month 7.8
25-34 7.2   Routine & manual occupations 5.4   Less than 3 hours 5.6   None 5.5
35-44 7.1   Full-time students 5.3   ‘’ ‘’   ‘’ ‘’
16-24 6.4   Not classified 5.2   ‘’ ‘’   ‘’ ‘’

Claims.co.uk can reveal that those with higher social status are the most likely to be scammed, with 8.1% of victims being professionals and managers. Additionally, people who are out of home for the longest hours (7 hours or more) are the most susceptible to fraud (7.4%) than those who leave home for only less than three hoursper day (5.6%).

Contrary to popular belief that the elderly are more vulnerable to scams, Gen X are also the most reckless, with those aged between 45 to 54 years old (7.7%) falling victim to fraud the most! This is 2.2% more than those between 65 to 74 years old (5.5%).

The most common amount of financial loss suffered by victims is revealed to be around £100 to £249 (21.8%), while the biggest loss recorded (£40,000 or more) was only suffered by 0.5% of those scammed. 

Individuals who fall victim to computer misuse possess THESE characteristics:

Age group % of computer misuse victims   Occupation % of computer misuse victims   Marital status % of computer misuse victims
25-34 1.9   Managerial/professional occupations 2.3   Single 1.9
16-24 1.8   Full-time students 1.8   Cohabiting 1.8
35-44 1.8   Intermediate occupations 1.4   Divorced 1.6
55-64 1.8   Not classified 1.2   Married/civil partnered 1.5
45-54 1.4   Routine/manual occupations 0.9   Separated 1.4


Professionals and managers (2.3%) are also the most common victims of computer misuse, followed by full-time students (1.8%). Moreover, data also reveals that online users aged between 25 to 34 years old  (1.9%) are the most susceptible to cyber crime.

Moreover, data also reveals that laptops (53.4%) are the most popular device targeted by cybercriminals, followed by desktop computers (31.9%) and mobile phones (7.9%).

Claims.co.uk can also reveal that fraudsters seem to target single adults with children (8.9%) the most, with adults without kids (6.4%) being the least likely to get scammed.

Data also shows that South East residents are the most at risk of fraud, with 8.8% of respondents admitting to being scammed. This is 5% more than in the North East (3.8%) and 3.4% more than in Wales (5.4%).

As online scams become increasingly sophisticated, Jon Dukes, head of IT at DVAD, offered guidance on how to keep personal details safe online:

  • Create memorable passwords and two-factor authentication wherever possible

It is now widely accepted that using complex passwords (a mixture of standard characters, numbers, and special characters) is not as useful as using four random words. This provides better password entropy whilst making it less likely that people will write down their passwords for others to find! Adding two-factor authentication to online accounts also adds an extra layer of protection by requesting information beyond just a username and password.

  • Always keep your devices updated

Every electronic device (tablet, mobile phone, laptop) uses a software operating system. These operating systems regularly release software updates to help keep your device protected from viruses, and should be installed as soon as possible. This is to prevent scammers from accessing your personal information through new malware developments.

  • Do not open unsolicited emails

Many fraudulent transactions start with a phishing email, so avoid opening any unexpected emails – even if they look trustworthy! Links within these emails should also be ignored as they can automatically infect your device with malware. Banks, insurance companies and government bodies will not send emails asking users to confirm any of their personal information.

  • Install anti-virus software

All your electronic devices should have up-to-date anti-virus software installed to prevent personal information from being stolen by scammers. Anti-virus software with additional anti-spyware capabilities will also further prevent unsolicited programs from tracking your online activity, and scanning your devices for personal information such as bank details.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://businesslancashire.co.uk/
Sam Allcock is a highly regarded digital entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in online marketing for some of the World’s biggest brands. He has extensive knowledge and experience in SEO and digital marketing. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.


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