KIS Bridging Loans
Presented by KIS Finance
A Staggering 1 in 4 of Us Would Transfer  All of Our Money to a Scammer

Key Statistics:

  • 48.3% of people have either never heard of safe account scams, or they have heard of them but wouldn’t know how to identify one.
  • 25.7% of people would transfer all of their money to a ‘safe account’ if someone that they believed to be from their bank, or a police officer, called them and said their bank account had been compromised.
  • 47% of those aged between 25 and 34 would transfer all of their money to a ‘safe account’ if someone that they believed to be from their bank, or a police officer, called them and said their bank account had been compromised.

Our recent survey has revealed worrying statistics regarding safe account scams.

The survey asked 2,000 participants whether they know what a safe account scam is and, more importantly, whether they think they would fall for it and transfer their money to a scammer.

Over a quarter (25.7%) of people said that they would transfer all of their money to a so-called ‘safe account’. This is if they received a phone call from someone (that they believed to be a police officer, or a bank representative) telling them that their bank account has been accessed by scammers and their money is at risk of being stolen.

This figure rises sharply in the 25-34 age category with 47% of this group stating that they would willingly transfer their money to a ‘safe account’ if they received one of these calls.

Percentage of people who do not know what a safe account scam is or how to identify one, by age

Age Group Percentage
18 - 24 33.3%
25 – 34 18.3%
35 – 44 25.4%
45 – 54 28.4%
55 – 64 32.4%
65+ 23.4%

Percentage of people who would transfer their money to a ‘safe account’, by age

Age Group Percentage
18 - 24 32.2%
25 – 34 47.0%
35 – 44 35.4%
45 – 54 19.2%
55 – 64 10.4%
65+ 8.6%

Why are safe account scams such a huge problem?

These scams can be very lucrative for the criminals running them, hence the rapidly growing number of reports.

According to Santander, the number of reported safe account scams rose by 53% compared to the previous year (this is the latest data available.)

These scams can see victims losing their life’s savings in just minutes – the same Santander report revealed that the average amount lost per case was £5,634. With losses so high, these scams can have a huge financial and emotional impact on those who are caught out.

How do safe account scams work?

In safe account scams the fraudsters cold-call their victims and pose as either a bank representative or as a police officer. They will usually spoof the phone number and caller ID so it matches the genuine number of whoever they’re claiming to be.

If they’re posing as a police officer, they will usually tell the victim that their bank account has been accessed by scammers. If they’re posing as a bank representative, they may give the same reason or claim that an employee in the branch has been stealing money from customers. Either way, they frighten their victims into believing that their money is at high risk of being stolen and the only way to prevent it is by transferring everything they have to a so-called ‘safe account’.

They will tell the victim that the account has been set up in their name and that they’ll have full access to it once they’ve transferred the money over. However, it is actually a bank account controlled by the scammers and once the money has been transferred it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get it back.

Tips for customers on how to identify and protect themselves from safe account scams
  • The most important thing to remember is that your bank will never call you out of the blue and they will never ask for any personal information, bank details, log-in details, security codes, or for you to transfer any money over the phone.
  • If you receive a phone call from anyone claiming to be from your bank asking you for any details or to transfer money, you should hang up immediately and report it. Do not call them back on the same number, use the phone number on the back of your bank card.
  • The scammers will be very pushy, and potentially threatening if you don’t do what they say. They will stress how urgent the situation is and will persuade you to stay on the call (rather than allowing you to hang up and phone them back). A genuine bank would never do this.
  • Stick to your gut instincts – if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t.

The data from our survey sends a clear message of the work that still needs to be done on fraud awareness in the finance and banking sectors. Scammers are continuously developing their tactics in order to stay one step ahead, so the only way for people to protect themselves is simply by being aware of how they can be targeted.


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