A new study by insolvency trade body R3 has revealed that 1 in 8 Scottish adults were victims of fraud last year. This is higher than the national UK average of 1 in 9 people being hit by fraudsters, and second only to London where 1 in 6 people were hit. R3 had previously described the scale of fraud in the UK as “staggering”, announcing that the total losses seen by individuals last year was estimated to be over £9 billion.
The study also revealed that 22 per cent of adults surveyed were “extremely worried” about how this fraud would further impact on their debt. The single largest demographic hit was those between 25 and 34, where 1 in 6 people suffered from fraud. People in this age bracket lost an average of £1,408 each – higher than the overall average of £1,016. R3 attributes this to the prevalence of online fraud, though it also warned that credit card fraud, phishing and door to door scams were also a big problem.
Scottish chair of R3, Tim Cooper, is concerned by the results of this study, saying “It may be surprising that younger generations are the most likely victims of fraud, but online fraud does place younger age groups more at risk. E-commerce may be convenient, but convenience is not a substitute for due diligence. If things look too good to be true, they very often are. It’s saddening that the most financially precarious are also the most vulnerable to fraud.”