According to the latest figures, an estimated 36 million adults have been targeted by scammers since January.
According to Citizens Advice, more than two-thirds (68%) of people believe they have been targeted by scammers so far this year, with those over 55 being the most likely to be hit.
People under the age of 34 were almost five times the most likely to be attacked by SMS or messaging services (61%), while those over 55 were the most likely to be attacked by phone (73%).
The majority (54%) of fraudulent contacts involved counterfeit shipments or parcels, but 41% of the time someone pretended to be government and 12% of the fraud attempts were made by someone making a fake investment or “Get rich quick” “Program.
Comparing the first five months of 2021 to the same period in 2020, there has been a 123% increase in fraud reports to the charity.
In cases reported to Citizens Advice, an elderly man sent £ 240,000 to an account he thought belonged to his bank, while a young woman lost £ 2,000 to a fake cryptocurrency company after receiving a message from the hacked social A friend’s media account.
Citizens Advice and the Consumer Protection Partnership have launched the annual fraud awareness campaign.
Dame Clare Moriarty, General Manager of Citizens Advice, said: “From fraudulent schemes to get rich quick to shady texts, opportunistic scammers continue to hunt down the most savvy consumers. Our research shows that fraud can attack anyone and outsmart anyone.
“It is more important than ever that we all do our part to report scams when we see them in order to protect ourselves and others. By learning how scammers work and helping each other understand what to look out for, we can all work together to stop scammers. “
Paul Scully, UK Government Secretary of Consumption, said: “As these figures show, absolutely anyone can be a victim of fraud. Criminals don’t care who they cheat as long as they get what they want. You may think that you are really tech savvy, but we are now seeing scams that are convincing enough to make a computer programmer think.
“The best way to protect ourselves from scams is to dispel the myth that only a certain type of person is at risk, share experiences, and report suspected scams to Citizens Advice and Action Fraud.”
Louise Baxter, Head of the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said, “Just being attacked by scams has been shown to affect people’s wellbeing.
“We urge people to protect themselves and their loved ones from fraud by taking our free Friends Against Scams awareness training at www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk. ”