Over a quarter of investment scam victims are under the age of 30
- Barclays data reveals that 26 per cent of investment scam victims are under the age of 301
- The average amount lost by young people is equivalent to a year’s student loan2
- Investment scams account for over one third of money lost to scams1
10th July 2023: Data from Barclays shows that young people are at risk of being targeted by investment scams, with 26 per cent of those falling victim to these type of scams under the age of 30.
The rise in this type of scam comes as ‘finfluencers’ – content creators who give advice on financial investments – have become increasingly popular3 on social media. But consumers should be wary of investment opportunities they see online. Barclays data shows that 77 per cent of all scams take place on tech platforms such as social media sites4.
For students, these scams pose a serious threat. Barclays data shows that the average amount lost to investment scams by young people is £3692, a staggering figure compared with student maintenance loans in England, which start from £36982. Across all ages, investment scams account for 33 per cent of money lost to scams.
One way scammers target people is by impersonating celebrities or public figures on social media, and endorsing fake investment opportunities. Research from Barclays shows that 30 per cent of Brits have been targeted by impersonation scams5, showing the importance of being vigilant online.
Ross Martin, Head of Digital Safety at Barclays says: “Young people earning income early in their careers may want to invest their money, and social media can offer many helpful tips and tricks on how to manage your money. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone offering an investment opportunity is genuine, and they could actually be a scammer.
“That’s why it’s so important to do your due diligence before investing your money.”
Barclays has provided a quick checklist of what to look out for before making an investment decision:
- Check that it’s genuine: the FCA website has records of regulated firms and individuals. Make sure the company is listed there so you know it’s genuine.
- Talk it through: before making a decision, speak to a trusted friend, family member, or even qualified financial advisor to get a different perspective.
- Watch out for click bait: don’t be drawn in by ads on social media, which can be fake. Make sure you do your own research and read plenty of reviews about the investment product and company.
For further information contact Annie McQuoid, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7385 535614
Notes to Editors
1Customer scam demographic data for January – March 2022.
2Minimum maintenance loan in England 2023/24, Save the Student
3Understanding self-directed investors, BritainThinks on behalf of The Financial Conduct Authority
4 Data for unique customers reporting scams from January to December 2022.
5Censuswide consumer research study of 2,000 participants, January 2023.