interactive investor’s most recent Great British Retirement Survey 2020 of over 12,000 UK adults, revealed notable gender differences when it comes to the susceptibility of financial scams. 13% of respondents have fallen victim to financial scams, rising to 18% in the 72-77 age category, and 20% amongst those aged over 77.
Women are less likely to have experienced a financial scam than men (9% versus 15%), and over a third of men (35%) admitted to having been the victim of investment fraud, compared to 22% of women. However, when it comes to current account fraud, more women said they had fallen victim (27% versus 21%).
In addition, while 42% of women and 43% of men said they got their money back, 17% of women said it had put them off attempting to put their financial affairs in order, for fear of being scammed again, compared to 9% among men.
Myron Jobson, Personal Finance Campaigner, interactive investor, says: “Financial scams tend to be indiscriminate in their targeting, and while we all have to be on our guard, the risks seem to increase with age. There are some gender differences, too. Men might be more susceptible to investment fraud because, on average at least, they tend to invest more. Whatever the reason, it is important to take care with your money and look out for the warning signs.
“The city watchdog reports that it received over 24,000 reports of unauthorised activity and published over 1,000 consumer alerts in 2020 – an 82% increase on the previous year, illustrating that the Covid-19 pandemic created a perfect storm for unscrupulous individuals. With the Covid crisis still ongoing, the worry is the internal alarm bells warning people of ‘too good to be true’ money-making opportunities is increasingly becoming muted among those who have suffered a loss of income out of desperation.
“The FCA has also had its sights on misleading advertising of high-risk investment products. The regulator quite rightly banned the mass marketing of mini-bonds to retail investors, and more recently, issued a warning over the risks of investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets like Bitcoin.
“The allure of these high-risk products is compounded by the low-interest rate environment which has wreaked havoc on saving rates. But the high-risk nature of these products is not something that is easily understood.”