Seven in ten Brits entering competitions risk fraud by not checking they are legitimate

17 July 2017

  • Reward outweighs risk as many Brits shun suspicion as they are lured by exciting offers
  • One in five happy to divulge all three key pieces of info – name, address and date of birth
  • 18-24s four times more likely to share personal details on a cold call than those aged 55 plus

Seven in ten Brits (69%) entering competitions risk being scammed after sharing their personal details without checking whether the offer is legitimate, a new poll shows.

Just one in three (31%) say they routinely check to determine whether an offer is real or fraudulent before entering private information such as their name, address and date of birth.

The research from Nationwide Building Society, which surveyed 2,000 British adults, highlights how the risk/ reward radar can often be unbalanced by ‘too good to be true’ offers as it reveals most people are aware that providing such information could put them at risk of fraud, with many regretting doing it later.

Around two thirds (63%) of Brits have previously entered private information such as their name, address and date of birth to enter a competition. Of these, seven in ten (69%) have done so without any due diligence checks, according to the poll. More than a fifth (22%) said they would consider giving all three key pieces of information (name, address, date of birth) to stand a chance of grabbing an offer – enough to give a fraudster a head-start on impersonating someone.

According to the poll, 18-to-24-year-olds are four times more likely to give out their personal details on a cold call than those aged 55 and above, while they are also almost three times as likely as 35-to-44-year-olds to give their bank details to an unfamiliar website when shopping online.

However, the nation’s generous approach to sharing their personal information is in stark contrast to their awareness of fraud – most understand that sharing their bank details (86%), date of birth (62%), home address (58%) and email address (42%) could put them at risk of fraud.

This is perhaps why more than a third (38%) say they ended up regretting sharing their personal information.

Stuart Skinner, Director of Fraud at Nationwide Building Society added: “It’s great news that consumers are aware of what personal information they shouldn’t share. But as our research shows, Brits are much more willing to take a risk with their personal information if they think there is a bargain to be had. It’s very easy to be swept away with the prize on offer and not stop to think whether it is valid. Our advice is, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is, so it’s wise to be suspicious.

“People should take a bit of time to do some research and check the source is valid, particularly if it’s a website they are using for the first time. 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:

  • Protect your personal details just like you protect your home and valued possessions.
  • Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is genuine – you can always ring back on a known number.
  • Don’t share PINs, passwords or card reader passcodes and don’t send money out of your account for ‘safekeeping’.

Notes to Editor:

The poll of 2,000 UK adults was carried out by online market researchers,, and took place between 6 June 2017 and 12 June 2017.

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.