Caught on the Net!

Under 25s now more than TWICE as likely to be snared by online ‘phishing’ scams than Baby Boomers

Get Safe Online Week 2017
  • Youngsters under 25 typically lose a huge £613.22 to fraudsters, compared to the older generation, whose losses average £214.70
  • Over 55’s are more likely to be targeted by online fraudsters - with almost half suffering cybercrime attempts compared to a third of under 25s
  • Over one in 10 18-24 year olds have actually fallen victim to ‘phishing’, compared to just one in 20 55+ year olds
  • But the real number maybe far higher, as just 27 per cent of victims report the crime
  • Get Safe Online has recruited unique new ‘Scammer Nana’ squad to demonstrate to youngsters how simple it is to be defrauded even by someone their grandparents’ age.

    TECH savvy teens who live their lives online are now more than TWICE as likely to fall victim to internet conmen than over 55’s, a surprising new study shows.

    More than one in ten of the youngsters polled (11 per cent), who are aged 18 to 24, have fallen victim to ‘phishing’ scams – where fraudsters access personal details though online communication – compared to just one in 20 (5 per cent) of over 55s, according to the report from Get Safe Online, the UK’s leading source of information on online safety.

    Despite claiming to be very digitally aware, millennials and Gen Z cybercrime victims also lose far more money in the attacks, averaging £613.22 compared to £214.70 for the older generation.

    In a survey commissioned by Get Safe Online, most people (38 per cent) believed that hackers were likely to be young. The same number believed they were targeted by a large international hacking organisation and almost a quarter (23 per cent) thought that advanced technical skills are needed to carry out a phishing attack.

    This could be why over one in ten (11 per cent) millennials don’t believe that the older generation has the skills to phish, and almost the same number (9 per cent) believe it’s ‘only old people’ who fall for phishing scams.

    To prove that anyone can get phished – and equally that anyone could be behind phishing – Get Safe Online trained a group of nans, dubbed the ‘Scammer Nanas’, to phish their grandkids and dispel the convictions of a quarter of young people (27 per cent) who believe they are too smart to fall for scams.

    Five nanas were recruited from across the UK to learn how to perpetrate a phishing email. Their schooling included faking their email address, creating false links, inventing a fake ‘company’ and writing a convincing fake email. They then put their knowledge to the test and phished their grandkids with emails with fraudulent links – proving that young people aren’t as savvy as they think.

    Cyber experts are blaming the rise in teenage and 20-something victims on being more trusting of online communication than older generations.

    Evidence from the report revealed just 40 per cent of under 25s say they ‘carefully read and re-read all emails’, in contrast with two thirds (69 per cent) of 55+ year olds who scrupulously check all online communication.

    Worryingly, only half of under 25s (51 per cent) don’t ‘reply to or click on links in unsolicited or spam emails’ – which is a common technique used by phishers. However, older Brits are more cautious, with three quarters saying that they never reply to or click on links in suspect emails.

    And three times as many 18-24 year-olds than over 55s have stopped using social media or emails as a result of phishing.

    Younger people are also more likely to experience longer-term damage from phishing attacks. While only three per cent of casualties over 55 reported losing ‘a large amount of money which affected my lifestyle and finances’, almost a quarter (24 per cent) of younger victims’ lifestyle and finances were severely compromised.

    Youngsters were ten times more likely to suffer mental health issues after being targeted, with 29 per cent saying the crime attempt impacted them compared to just three per cent of over 55s.

    But despite the increase in young cybercrime victims, older Brits (47 per cent) are still more likely to be targeted by online criminals compared to their younger counterparts (36 per cent).

    Overall, half (50 per cent) of all Brits have been targeted, with eight per cent of the UK population falling victim to the cybercriminals.(1)

    The research also looked at the frequency of phishing, revealing that almost two thirds (64 per cent) of people have received a phishing email within the last year, and one in five (19 per cent) within the last month, as cyber gangs step up activity. Worryingly, one in ten (10 per cent) has been targeted upwards of ten times.

    The report showed the most common phishing con is a fake email claiming to be from a bank or other financial organisation, asking for consumers to change or verify their login details. Over half (51 per cent) received this type of email, followed by 33 per cent who were sent an email from a company asking them to update logins or provide account details.

    Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said: “There’s a common misconception that as ‘digital natives’ younger people are savvier and safer online. However, as our report shows, this isn’t the case. When it comes to staying safe from cyberscammers, older may actually mean wiser.

    “So to help youngsters gets safe online, we trained a team of Scammer Nanas to show just how easy it is to phish for information and carry out such a cruel and life-impacting crime. We hope our nana scam gang will make young Brits think twice before handing over their information.”

    Sue Parker-Nutley, one of the Scammer Nanas added: “The internet is a wonderful thing – it’s helped me to stay in touch with friends and family. However, it’s astounding how easy it can be for online fraudsters to succeed in their efforts – if I can do it, then anyone can.

    “However, there are some really simple things that you can do to protect yourself – like turning on your spam filter or never clicking on links or attachments if you’re suspicious. It’s not difficult and it could save you a heap of trouble down the line.”

    When asked how they dealt with the unwanted emails, over a quarter (27 per cent) reported it to an industry body and the same number to their email provider. However, one in ten (10 per cent) ignored it, one in 16 (6 per cent) panicked and one in 33 (3 per cent) even bought a new laptop in response to being targeted.

    To find out more, please head to or search #ScammerNana on social media.
    Get Safe Online Week Logo 2017

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on October 26, 2017 09:08

    Get Ready to Get Safe Online

    The theme for Get Safe Online Week, taking place from 23rd to 27th October, will be phishing

    Get Safe Online Logo 2017Get Safe Online Week is one of the campaigns organised by Get Safe Online, a public / private sector partnership supported by HM Government and leading organisations in banking, retail, internet security and other sectors.

    To help raise awareness of the year’s Get Safe Online Week, the focus will be on phishing as it is an online safety issue that has started to affect digital natives as well as the older generation.

    Phishing scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and are fooling the savviest internet users. But younger generations, i.e. millennials, still think they’re invincible when it comes to online scams.

    Digital natives think they are impervious; some don’t even know what phishing is because they are so complacent! They think they can spot a scam a mile off and that phishing is only to do with banking fraud. They believe phishing is perpetrated by hackers and computer experts – not everyday people. Most importantly they think it’s something that only happens to your nan.

    Further details about Get Safe Online week will be brought to you in the coming days.

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on October 04, 2017 14:29

    Fraud and cybercrime could have cost the UK nearly £11 billion in the past year

    Get Safe Online urges people to make every day safer by treating online security as part of our everyday routines

    Get Safe Online Day LogoThe UK public and small businesses are today (18th October 2016) being urged to start making every day safer as the latest online crime figures from Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), based only on data available from fraud and cyber crime incidents reported to Action Fraud, staggeringly reveal that up to potentially £10.9 billion was lost to the UK economy as a result of fraud, including cybercrime, in 2015/16. That equates to approximately £210 per person over the age of 16 living in the UK.

    However, a specially commissioned survey to mark Get Safe Online Day, reveals that this number is likely to be much greater, with respondents who had been a victim of online crime alone losing an average of £523 each – this being more than the average weekly earnings figure for the UK which currently stands at £505. In addition, 39% of people who said they’d been victims of online crime said they hadn’t reported the incident, with the Crime Survey for England and Wales suggesting this may be as low as one-fifth of victims– this meaning that the overall amount of money lost by the UK could in fact be even more.

    In addition, a quarter of (25%) respondents said that they had a limited understanding of the risks they face when going online, but nine in 10 (89%) said they were somewhat or very concerned about their online safety and security. 89% also felt online crime was as damaging or more damaging than physical crime.

    The victims of cyber criminals

    The research found a worrying gap in people’s understanding of what constitutes an online crime – 86% said they had not been targeted by cyber criminals in the past 12 months. But, 68% of respondents have been targeted in a variety of ways:
    • 53% received fraudulent emails or messages which have attempted to direct them to websites where their personal information could have been stolen, including bank details, user names and passwords
    • Over a quarter (28%) reported being contacted by someone who was trying to trick them into giving away personal information
    • 10% had their email or social media accounts hacked
    • 3% had been victims of ransomware, a fast-growing means of online extortion

    Of those who said they had been a victim of cybercrime, over a third (38%) said they felt that the matter was too trivial to report. Worryingly, over a third of people (37%) also said that they felt there was nothing that could be done.

    Poor online safety habits

    But, many respondents are still not taking the basic steps to keep themselves safe online with as many as 43% saying that they use the same password for multiple online accounts. In fact, even when a company warns people to change their password after a breach – three in 10 have been contacted to do so – 12% said they did not follow the advice. The survey found that people use an average 9 passwords across devices and accounts.

    The research also showed that respondents only update their security software every 8½ months and two in 10 (19%) do not update their device operating systems at all. When it comes to taking care of personal information, nearly a quarter (23%) said they never update their privacy settings on social media, with 58% saying they did not know how to. Additionally, nearly a third (29%) don’t back up their documents and photographs at all.

    Tony Neate, Chief Executive of Get Safe Online, comments: “The fact that the UK is losing nearly £11 billion to cyber criminals is frightening and highlights the need for each and every one of us to make sure we are taking our online safety seriously. It is clear from our survey that people are very concerned, and rightly so.”

    “The fact that over a third of people felt there was nothing that could have been done to stop them becoming a victim is alarming indeed – particularly when it’s so easy to protect yourself online. Also, as our research shows, people are losing large sums of money on average - £523 being the equivalent of a holiday abroad or the price of a new piece of technology in the home. As a result, it seems there is still a big education job to do. Let’s not let cyber criminals get away with it anymore by ensuring that each and every one of us is updating the operating systems of our various devices and ensuring security software is always updated. What’s more we all need to ensure that we have a different password for each online account we own and website we visit. Online safety needs to be part of our everyday routines.”

    City of London Police’s Commander Chris Greany, the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, continued:

    “The huge financial loss to cybercrime hides the often harrowing human stories that destroy lives and blights every community in the UK. All of us need to ask ourselves are we doing everything we can to protect ourselves from online criminals. Unfortunately, people still click on links in unsolicited emails and fail to update their security software. Just as you wouldn’t leave your door unlocked, so you shouldn’t leave yourself unprotected online.”

    Making online safety part your everyday routine

    This year’s Get Safe Online Day is encouraging everyone to start making every day safer by following a few simple steps:

    • Review the passwords you use on your online accounts: Make sure they’re strong enough, following government advice of using three random words, and that you’re not using the same ones for more than one account. Consider how you’re going to remember them all – such as using an online password safe.
    • Check your social media privacy settings. Make sure your information and updates are seen only by those you trust.
    • Update your operating system and software programs/apps on your computer, mobile phone and tablet if you’ve been prompted to do so. It takes only a few minutes and with your mobile devices, you can even do it while you’re asleep.
    • Back up your information – using the cloud is a great way to save all your documents, photos, music, emails and other irreplaceable files.
    • Check that your internet security software and apps are up to date and switched on.
    • If you have children, think about whether you’re doing enough to help ensure they’re staying safe online.
    • If you’ve lost money report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting If you are a victim of online abuse or harassment, you should report it to your local police force.

    Get Safe Online Day Image

    For more information visit Get Safe Online

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on October 18, 2016 11:33

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