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Fraud victims too embarrassed to report incidents

2 November 2017

Barclays is encouraging victims of fraud to report the incident, as new research reveals more than one in four fraud victims were too ashamed to tell their partner, and victims are often targeted more than once.

Barclays has launched the Embarrassing Fraud Clinic, designed to reduce the stigma surrounding fraud and encourage people to talk more openly about scams so that they are more likely to report the incident to the bank.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said: “The Embarrassing Fraud Clinic and our new online fraud intervention service makes up the next phase of our £10 million commitment to helping people stay safe in cyber space, launched earlier this year.

“With the average Brit being targeted 12 times over the last 12 months never has it been more vital for us to lead the fightback against the fraudsters and increase the public’s resilience to cyber-attacks, helping them stay secure in the digital age.

“We hope that the Embarrassing Fraud Clinic gives people a safe environment to discuss their fraud concerns and get advice and tips on how to protect themselves.”

The study, carried out by Barclays UK, surveyed 1,500 adults who were victims of either financial, identity or online fraud, and found 32% felt there is a stigma attached to anyone who has been “taken in” by fraudsters. Overall, one in four victims admitted feeling hugely embarrassed by events, while 31% said they felt “stupid” and 38% felt angry at themselves for allowing the scam to happen.

The stigma and embarrassment surrounding fraud meant one third of cases went unreported to banks and nearly three quarters were not reported to the police.

Worryingly, the results suggested the average adult has been a victim of fraud twice and targeted 11 times over the course of the last year. On the occasion where money was taken, the average amount was nearly £900 and only six in 10 people managed to get their money back.

Julie Clegg, former detective and intelligence expert on Channel 4’s TV show ‘Hunted’ said: “The scale of fraud is phenomenal and there is a lot of work to be done to tackle this growing issue. Fraud is a multimillion pound global industry and many of these crimes and scams are carefully planned out and executed by “organisations” that could be compared in structure and strategy to a multinational corporation.

“They are technical masters, they have a business plan, they analyse their statistics, they operate in a tactical way, and they hire the best and brightest hackers they can find. Not speaking out should you be a victim is really helping the fraudsters so it’s great to be part of the Barclays Embarrassing Fraud Clinic where we are encouraging people to talk more openly about it.”

The Embarrassing Fraud Clinic will be hosting a number of public seminars by its own cyber experts.


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