A total of £1.2 billion was lost to fraud and scams in 2018, with many falling for the huge amount of scams constantly circulating.
But HSBC UK has revealed the top trait of fraud and scam victims – and being too ‘nice’ puts you most at risk.
At risk personalities
Partnering with criminology and cyber security expert Dr Michael Maguire from the University of Surrey, HSBC explored the character and personality traits that make people more vulnerable to fraudsters.
Victims of fraud were found to be 10 per cent ‘nicer’ on average than those who hadn’t been taken advantage of by scammers, according to the study.
They rated themselves as 41 per cent more ‘agreeable’, 28 per cent more ‘kind’ and 30 per cent more ‘willing to please’, with victims blaming being too trusting as the top reason for getting caught (30 per cent).
One in ten victims also admitted that them not wanting to come across as rude was the main reason they were conned.
Am I too ‘nice’?
The socially-orientated characteristics which make someone a ‘nice’ person and more susceptible to scammers include:
- being co-cooperative
- willing to please
Martin Brown, Head of Digital Risk at HSBC UK, commented: “Our research shows that fraudsters are preying on Brits’ nicest qualities – being friendly, polite and open.”
Dr Michael McGuire added: “What really stands out from the findings is the way that the sort of qualities we usually applaud in someone – their willingness to listen, to co-operate or to be helpful – can also increase the risk of fraud.
“For example, we found that victims are twice more likely to engage in small talk and pleasantries when on a cold call than non-victims.
“Being ‘nice’ when answering the phone can, unfortunately, result in a nasty surprise.”
This article was originally published on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.