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Could you spot an impersonation scam?

New research has revealed that three out of ten people would be willing to move money out of their bank into a new account to “keep it safe”.

The research from Nationwide Building Society reveals a large percentage of people would willingly withdraw their own money at the request of a fraudster posing as the Police or the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The survey of 2,025 people shows that young people are most at risk with those aged 16-24 four times more susceptible than those who are 55 years old.

It also highlights that people in London, West Midlands, Wales and North East areas are most likely to be at risk of impersonation scams

Over 34% of those surveyed said they would not fall for the scams posed in the research and three in ten (or 30%) would still transfer their own money into another account ‘to keep it safe’, if requested to do so by someone they believed to be representing the Police.

Nationwide’s fraud protection tips:

  • The Police or NCA would not ask you to use your own money to help with an investigation.
  • Never move money to a ‘safe account’ – neither the Police or your financial services provider would ask you to do this.

Stuart Skinner, Nationwide’s Director of Fraud, said: “It might be surprising that many people believe it is credible that the Police would request them to use their own money to help with an investigation, but people do fall for this scam.  It shows that the key to thwarting the scam artists and fraudsters is education.  We’d urge people to learn as much as they can about the tricks that scammers use. 

“Our branches are running fraud awareness events and anyone can go along for free to find out how to avoid becoming a victim and what they should look out for. The dates of the events vary from branch to branch, so call in to a local branch to find out more.”

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: “Fraudsters will try every trick in the book to try and convince their victims to part with their money. We often see reports where fraudsters will impersonate police officers and officials.  If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.”

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