Affluent UK Citizens Don't Worry Enough About Being Scammed – Arbuthnot Latham

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 29 May 2024

Affluent UK Citizens Don't Worry Enough About Being Scammed – Arbuthnot Latham

The findings appear to suggest that among affluent and even HNW individuals, there's a level of complacency about being scammed.

A study from UK private and commercial bank Arbuthnot Latham showed that the UK’s affluent population is not very worried about being conned by fraudsters, even though it is a serious threat.

Just over half – 52 per cent – of more than 500 residents fear they could be defrauded. Women were found to be more concerned than men – 59 per cent of women said they were concerned about fraud.

The bank, which partnered with research agency Atomik Research, polled residents with investable assets of at least £100,000. The survey took place between 30 November and 5 December 2023. Some 60 per cent of respondents have a net worth (excluding property assets) of between £100,000 and £499,000, and 40 per cent have at least £500,000. Investable assets exclude property wealth.

Individuals ranked their worry from 1 to 10, with 1 being “not worried at all” and 10 being “extremely worried.” Most participants ranked their concern between 5 and 10 (52 per cent), with 7 per cent categorising themselves as “extremely worried.” Of those surveyed, 48 per cent selected 1 to 5.

The bank said that scammers now have a wide variety of ways of targeting vulnerable individuals and gaining access to their money, with financial online tools being both easy-to-use and convenient.

But despite those over 65 traditionally considered less tech-savvy and therefore more exposed to financial fraud, only 37 per cent of those over 65 years old said they were worried about becoming a victim of financial fraud, whereas 72 per cent of participants between 33 and 44 years old noted this as a concern.

The bank said a “surprisingly high number” of those polled had already fallen victim to financial fraud; 28 per cent of participants said they have been scammed and 12 per cent of respondents have been scammed several times.

“Our survey has shown too few individuals are actively thinking about the risk of being scammed while also indicating that a high proportion have been a victim of fraud in the past. This might suggest people are underestimating the likelihood and seriousness of being tricked by a fraudster,” Rob McClaren, head of fraud prevention at Arbuthnot Latham, said.

“So much fraud that occurs is a result of people being tricked by sophisticated scammers into handing over things like one-time passcodes over the phone,” he said. “There is a perception that it is a certain type of person vulnerable to fraud, but this is not true. It is incumbent upon all of us to be aware of the latest scams.”

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