A third of brits would transfer money to phone-line fraudsters, poll shows

05 September 2016

  • Many unaware a bank or building society would never ask to transfer funds
  • Younger people twice as likely as older people to be caught out in scams
  • One in five aged 18 to 24 think it’s acceptable to share their PIN

One in three people would unwittingly transfer money to an unknown account if they were telephoned by someone posing as their bank according to new research from Nationwide Building Society. This is despite more than two thirds (67%) of people worrying about becoming a victim of fraud.

The poll was conducted as part of the Society’s ongoing campaign to help people protect themselves from the growing threat of fraud. Despite criminals employing increasingly more sophisticated techniques to dupe their victims, there are a number of simple precautions and steps people can take to avoid becoming another statistic.

Vishing bait:
The research of 2,000 UK adults, shows that around a third of Brits (31%) could potentially become victims of vishing by stating that they would transfer their money to another account if they were called by someone purporting to be from a trusted organisation, such as their bank, building society or the police. Criminals often use this tactic, requesting their unsuspecting victims to transfer money into a ‘safe’ account due to suspected fraud.

Keep it in the family:
Despite the terms and conditions of current accounts telling people not to share their PIN with anyone, half (50%) have disclosed their PIN to their partner. However, around one in 15 would share their PIN with their bank or building society (7%) or the police (6%). While no legitimate bank or building society employee or police officer would ask for this information, fraudsters often pretend to be from these organisations as a way of coercing the information out of their victims.

Get wise before you get old:
The poll also reveals that while older people may be seen as an easy target, younger generations are twice as likely to be caught out in a scam. More than half (52%) of those aged 18 to 24 would transfer their money to another account if they were convinced that either the police, their bank or their building society was asking them to do so, compared to just one in five (22%) aged 55 and over.

Equally, a fifth (20%) of 18 to 24 year-olds would share their PIN with their bank or building society and one in six (16%) would share the same information with the police. By comparison, just one in fifteen (6%) and less than one in 20 (4%) of those aged 55 and over would be willing to share the same information.

Stuart Skinner, Head of Fraud at Nationwide Building Society added: “It is a sad fact that a fraudster needs to only strike it lucky once.  If you’re not careful, you could lose your life savings within a matter of minutes.

“No financial services provider would ever ask customers to transfer money to another account and would never ask for a customer’s PIN. Nationwide, like all banks and building societies, uses a wide range of measures to keep its customers’ money safe, but knowing how to protect yourself is by far the most effective way to avoid becoming another statistic”.

Nationwide offers the following hints and tips to customers in order to protect them and their money:

  • Remember your financial services provider will never call you and ask you to move your money.
  • Check your account regularly for unrecognised transactions
  • Shield your PIN when using your card in public
  • Never release your PIN or online banking passwords to anyone, even if they claim to be from your bank or building society
  • Take care of your card and keep it in a safe place
  • Never let your card out of your sight, such as behind a bar
  • Be vigilant over the websites you use and look for the padlock symbol as a sign of authenticity
  • Be alert to unsolicited text messages asking you to ring a number or visit a website to update your details

For further details on the types of fraud and how to protect yourself, visit - http://www.nationwide.co.uk/support/security-centre/fraud-awareness/card-fraud

Notes to Editors

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.