One in four online scam victims is aged 21 to 30, says Barclays

Young adults are the most likely demographic to have fallen victim to online scams, despite many feeling confident it will not happen to them, according to Barclays.

The research reveals that 25% of scam victims are aged 21 to 30, although 76% of this group say they don’t believe it will happen to them.

Scams often take place on tech platforms such as social media, purchase/auction websites, or dating apps, making younger people particularly susceptible, Barclays said.

Purchase scams, where people purchase items that never arrive or are not as advertised, are by far the most prevalent type of scam – accounting for 60% of all scams in the last three months.

Consumers aged 21 to 30 made up 28% of purchase scam victims in the statistics, compared with 4% who are aged 61 to 70 and just 2% who are over 70.

Barclays said smartphones are among the most common type of item fraudsters advertise. It also revealed that 55% of 21 to 30-year-olds are planning to buy a new smartphone this summer.

READ MORE: Barclays calls for tougher BNPL regulation

The bank is warning people to be vigilant and wary of offers which are too good to be true.

As part of the initiative, Barclays has partnered with TV and radio presenter and member of Diversity Perri Kiely to raise awareness.

“Like most young people, I consider myself tech savvy as I’ve grown up with social media, and I was shocked to find out how many people my age are falling for scams,” Kiely said.

Barclays head of digital safety added: “Many people picture an elderly person when they think of a scam victim, and, whilst it’s true that older people are more likely to fall for higher value scams, the most common type of scams are where people are tricked into buying something they never receive.”

“The best advice is if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“Scammers usually offer items for significantly lower than its value to lure you in – stop and question why any legitimate seller would do this.

“Check the seller’s website and be wary of anyone asking for a bank transfer rather than a debit or credit card transaction.”

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