Scam bank messages trick four in five people, research reveals

Mike Wright
·2-min read
Research from TSB suggests many people could be vulnerable to a fraud attack by failing to spot the warning signs that a message appearing to be from a legitimate company is actually a scam - Dominic Lipinski/PA
Research from TSB suggests many people could be vulnerable to a fraud attack by failing to spot the warning signs that a message appearing to be from a legitimate company is actually a scam - Dominic Lipinski/PA

Four in five people are tricked by scam bank messages, TSB research had found as it warned young people the most likely to be duped.

The results come as TSB showed 2,000 people 20 texts and emails from companies such as banks and mobile phone operators, half of which were fake.

It found that only 18 percent of people could correctly identify all of the messages which were scams. The vast majority of people failed to pick up on telltale signs in the fake messages such as spelling mistakes and links to websites that are not official.

Other suspicious signs include links that take someone to a page asking for login, account or card details, as well as messages trying to rush people into taking 'urgent' action.

TSB found people aged 18 to 24 were particularly at risk of falling for scams, with only 9 percent correctly identifying all the false messages.

Over a third (37 percent) of people said that they would respond to at least one of the bogus messages claiming to be from their bank, rising to two-fifths (41 percent) for 18 to 24-year-olds.

Ashley Hart, head of fraud at TSB, said: "Unfortunately, fraudsters are becoming increasingly clever in using technology such as text messages to impersonate banks and other companies, all to trick people out of their hard-earned money.

"Our findings show how convincing these messages can appear, and highlight a worrying proportion of people who could be caught out.

"The emotional and financial impact of fraud can be devastating - which is why we reimburse all our customers should they ever fall victim and invest in partnerships with police forces to hunt down the criminals behind these attacks."