Cyber criminals are targeting people who live in major cities, with London and Birmingham residents most at risk, says a new report. 

According to Barclays’ Digital Safety Index survey, 23 per cent of people living in the capital and 23 per cent of people living in Birmingham have been affected by at least one scam (table below).

The report adds that 28 per cent of London residents and the same proportion of people who live in Bristol have experienced at least one type of online fraud, where the target’s details have been compromised and the perpetrator has completed the transaction (table below).

Liverpool shares top place with these cities for impersonation scams. 

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The survey assessed the ability of 6,000 UK adults to protect their data, devices and accounts, and to spot digital threats.

According to the data, young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are twice as likely to be duped by cyber criminals than older generations.

Somewhat surprisingly, over-65s scored 27% higher in the Barclays’ digital safety test, which you can take , than 18-24-year-olds.

The report also found that “highly educated” Londoners – with a Masters degree and above – aged 25-34 are the UK’s most vulnerable group, and that men are slightly more at risk than women.

Concerningly, 17 per cent of people who have been a victim of a fraud or scam subsequently take no action to boost their digital defences, and 17 per cent of people in the UK can correctly identify basic digital threats, such as social media messages intended to trick them into sharing personal details or downloading malware.

“As a society our confidence in using digital technology to shop, pay our bills and connect with others has grown faster than our knowledge of how to do so safely,” said Ashok Vaswani, the CEO of Barclays UK. 

“This has created a ‘digital safety gap’ which is being exploited by criminals. I believe the need to fight fraud has now become a national resilience issue, and we all need to boost our digital safety levels in order to close the gap.”

Alongside the report, Barclays has introduced the ability for customers to enable or disable whether their card can be used to make remote purchases or not, as well as set their own daily ATM withdrawal limits through its mobile banking app.

City rankings by proportion of residents to have experienced at least one scam in the past three years:

City rankings by proportion of residents to have experienced at least one type of online fraud in the past three years:


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