According to recent research, the total amount of money it costs a fraudster’s victim to get help with their wellbeing after being scammed is £9.3 billion a year.
This unwanted financial burden is equivalent to £2,509 per annum for each victim. However, the total monetary impact can be much higher for those who experience online scams.
A typical financial hit to an individual is around £600, reveals the research.
With this high price to pay, many victims of fraudsters spoke about their wellbeing aftermath, which led to suffering from anxiety and even physical ill-health.
The research, which included 17,000 responses to an Office for National Statistics Crime Survey, suggested “scam victims faced a drop in life satisfaction, significantly higher levels of anxiety, and lower levels of happiness. It was also associated with people self-reporting worse general health, although to a much smaller degree.”
How can I protect myself?
If you receive, for example, a phone call from your bank, the police, a Government department, or another trusted source requesting personal or banking details, do not assume it is genuine.
Give yourself time to check the organisation’s phone number by looking at a bill, letter, bank statement or calling the organisation using the details you are familiar with to check whether what you have been told is genuine.
If you are concerned about a suspicious phone call, report this activity to HMRC via email: email@example.com, or text 60599.