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Young face risks from fraud

Young people are significantly less likely to monitor their bank balances, exposing them to risks from fraud, according to research from a consumer credit checking agency. Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of Brits check their bank balances daily or weekly, but less than half, 45pc of those aged 18 to 34 do so, compared with most, 80pc of over 55s.

The survey, done online by Opinium for Equifax, showed that 74pc take basic precautions such as locking their door before leaving home, but less than a third (32pc) regularly change their passwords and less than half (42pc) are careful about sharing personal details on social media. Over 55s are more than twice as careful as 18 to 34 year olds when it comes to sharing personal details on social media (53pc of over 55s are cautious compared to 25pc of 18-34 year olds).

Keith McGill, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax UK, said: “Over three quarters (76pc) of people we surveyed say they accept it’s their responsibility to protect themselves from identity theft, but there are some really simple precautions they’re failing to take. Figures from Cifas have shown the number of young people falling victim to fraud is on the rise, and carelessness no doubt plays a part.

“To stay safe and avoid the unwanted hassle of falling victim to fraud, a healthy dose of personal vigilance is required. One of the main challenges is a change in mindset, online security should be taken just as seriously as protecting our physical belongings. We keep our wallets close and lock the doors to our homes, and need to be just as cautious when it comes to protecting our personal details, online identity and bank accounts. Easy steps like shredding personal documents and making sure your passwords are complex shouldn’t be under-estimated.”

Last year Cifas, the counter-fraud trade association, launched anti-fraud lesson plans for teachers in PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education. Separately, the UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is urging over 55s to take their time to check that investment ‘opportunities’ are legitimate before they hand over their money.


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