Impersonation scams saw a 33% increase since May

Brits have experienced a significant spike in impersonation scams during the lockdown

impersonation scams

Impersonation scams saw a 33% increase since May. Source:

Barclays has found that the number of impersonating scams increased by 33% since May 2020.

Besides, romance ‘catfish’ scams grew by 86%. That’s a type of scam where victims are convinced to make a payment to fake lovers they’ve met online.

Scammers are using increasingly sophisticated and persuasive means to try and get what they want from unsuspecting members of the public. They have taken advantage of the lockdown situation and targeted individuals at a time when they may be feeling more vulnerable and have more time on their hands to entertain such exchanges. They may also not have the support networks around them that might otherwise stop them from falling victim in the moment. We all need to remain vigilant, do the appropriate research before making payments and never give out our personal information
Jim Winters, Head of Fraud at Barclays 

Impersonation scams usually come from someone reporting to be from a utility company, a service provider, etc. They may tell the victim to make urgent payments or try to obtain personal data.

As to the romance scams, the happen when a person joins a dating website or app looking in the hope of finding a partner. When they finally meet somebody online who seems very keen on a relationship, this person starts asking to ‘borrow’ sums of money that are never repaid.

We’ve reported that scammers targeted Twitter accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, and Apple on the 15th of July.


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