24.01.2023 - 13:57 / dailyrecord.co.uk
Lloyds Bank has issued an urgent warning to all banking customers following a new report which indicates that the number of ‘advance fee’ scams has surged over the last 12 months. These are scams which involve people being asked to pay fees upfront for goods or services such as loans that never materialise.
The number of ‘advance fee’ frauds reported to Lloyds Banking Group by customers jumped by 82 per cent across 2022, compared with 2021. People with a poor credit history may be particularly likely to be targeted as households continue to feel the squeeze from cost of living pressures in the first few months of the new year.
The average amount lost by victims in 2022 was £711, lower than an average of £1,194 in 2021, suggesting fraudsters may be pursuing a higher volume of lower value scams in the current economic environment.
Lloyds said its figures suggest people living in deprived areas may be particularly likely to report being scammed in this way.
People aged 25 to 34 were the most likely age group to report falling victim, followed by those aged 35 to 44.
Loan fee scams are a particular concern as fraudsters will often target people on low incomes or with a poor credit history, Lloyds added.
It said reports of loan fee scams have more than doubled over the past 12 months, compared with the previous year. The average amount lost by victims last year was £214.
Victims will typically reply to an online advert for a ‘fast loan’ and are told they must pay an upfront fee by bank transfer.
Once the fee is paid, the fraudster may ask for further payments. Eventually, the victim does not hear from the company again and the loan is never received.
In one case seen by Lloyds, a woman was searching online for loans after receiving a