Scams: survey reveals afternoons are the peak time for scammers including Marketplace, PayPal and Facebook

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Scammers also tend to be more successful in the middle of the week

According to a survey, people are most likely to be scammed in the afternoon.

Conducted among over 3,000 people in the UK who have experienced fraud in the last two years, the survey found that 43% of respondents had fallen victim to a scam during the afternoon, making it the most common time of day for fraud-related incidents.

Scammers also tend to be more successful in the middle of the week, with Wednesday and Thursday being the days on which people reported being scammed the most frequently.

A fifth (20%) of people said they had a lot on their mind when they were scammed, while one in six (15%) said they had been feeling tired, the Censuswide survey for Take Five to Stop Fraud in March and April found.

Paul Maskall, Take Five to Stop Fraud spokesperson said: “When we’re at our busiest, we are more likely to miss the red flags that might otherwise warn us that something could be a scam. That’s why it’s important to follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and stop, challenge and protect to stay safe from fraud.

“When we are worried or our mind is elsewhere it can make us more susceptible to scams, or ‘scamsceptible’. Therefore, it’s important to take a moment to stop and think whether it could be fake before parting with your money or financial and personal information.”

Nearly three in 10 (29%) people surveyed said that being the victim of fraud has had a negative impact on their mental health. A third (33%) said it had made them less trusting of people generally.

Take Five has launched a “scamsceptible” tool, which can give tailored advice to users. Through five questions, the tool assesses some of the factors that can make people more susceptible to fraud and gives tips on what to do to stay safe.

It was developed with academic Dr David Modic and can be found at Take Five is run by banking and finance industry body UK Finance and Take Five Week runs from 13 to 19 May 2024.

To help people stay safe, the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign advice is to:

  • Stop – Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge – Could it be fake? It is OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect – Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
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