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A quarter of young people trust scam messages

Online Scams

A quarter of young people trust scam messages

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One in four UK 18-34-year-olds would trust scam messages, according to research, more than double the proportion of over-55s.

The report by Visa and Aston University’s Institute for Forensic Linguistics into the language of fraud also found that a quarter of 18-34-year-old respondents said they would not check for spelling and grammar mistakes, raising questions about their ability to detect fraud.

“As we’re all spending more time online, it’s good to be aware of what we can do to keep ourselves safe,” said Mandy Lamb, Visa’s managing director for UK and Ireland. “Our new study demonstrates how it can be hard to spot the signs of fraud in emails, texts and messages.”

The study of 155 fraudulent messages found that almost 90 per cent invited users to click compromised links, while more than 70 per cent of messages featured calls for “urgent action” or asked them to resolve a “problem”.

“Click here”, “account information” and “gift card” were the most commonly used phrases in fraudulent messages.

“Bitcoin” also made an appearance in the top 30, with the digital asset appearing with a greater frequency than “reward”, “parcel” or “order”. Scams involving cryptocurrencies cost investors $7.8bn globally in 2021, according to blockchain data company Chainalysis, although growth of the overall market outstripped its illicit uses.

The majority of fraudulent texts in the Visa study attempted to build credibility by posing as an…

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