Generation Z more likely to be tricked into impersonation scams

8th September 2023

Under 25s are more likely than older age groups to have been targeted by impersonation scams.

An impersonation scam is where a criminal contacts you pretending to be a person or organisation you trust. These scams can be very sophisticated and often start with attempts to trick you into disclosing personal and financial information. Criminals then use this information to impersonate someone you trust, making it seem genuine, but their ultimate aim is to try to steal your money.

Almost half (49 per cent) of 18-24 year olds surveyed said that they had been contacted by an impersonation scammer. This compares to only a third of those aged over 55 (32.5 per cent) who had been contacted. Of the 18-24 year olds targeted, over half (52 per cent) said they actually shared personal information or made a payment as a result of the request.

Young adults aged 18-24 were the most confident of any age group in their ability to identify a scam with 91 per cent saying they were confident that they would be able to spot a fake request for personal information online. This level of confidence could put them at risk, as just over a quarter (27 per cent) said they will always take steps to check if the organisation or person can be trusted when asked for personal information out of the blue. This is in stark comparison to older age groups, with over 60 per cent of those aged over 55 saying they always take steps to check out unexpected requests.

UK Finance figures show over £1.2 billion was stolen through fraud in 2022. There were 45,367 cases of impersonation scams in 2022 costing at total of £177.6 million, UK Finance figures show.

Ben Donaldson, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance said “Criminals who commit fraud are willing to target us all and they don’t need much information to create an identity online. They can then use that identity to steal our money and fund other crimes, which causes huge damage to both individuals and society. I’m very concerned about the number of young adults who are giving their personal information to criminals, who go on to cause so much harm. Please follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud advice, and keep your details safe.”