The UK’s most common online and text scams – don’t fall victim to cheats

A new survey has uncovered the UK’s most common online and text scams and the over 60s are the group most susceptible to be drawn in.
credit cards - common online and text scams

Online and text scams are growing increasingly prevalent in the UK. Whether it’s a fake email prompting you to ‘verify’ your bank details or a text message claiming you need to send funds to collect an undelivered parcel, the goal is similar – to trick you into revealing your personal or financial details. 

A new survey of 1,376 British people by Reboot Digital PR agency has revealed the most common online and text scams as well as the UK regions that are most susceptible to scammers. 

Who did the fake call/ text claim to be from? 

  • The survey revealed that fraudsters are most likely to claim to be from HMRC, with 16.9% of respondents selecting this as their answer. 
  • The second most common type of scam is from those pretending to be from your bank or building society, with 15.7% of people reportedly receiving fake calls or texts from them. 
  • Scams claiming to be from the Royal Mail were the third most prevalent type of scam in the UK, with 12.8% of people reporting this. One of the most common methods that the scammers use is to send a text which prompts you to click on a link in order to pay for an undelivered parcel. 
Who did the fake call/text   claim to be from?Percentage 
HMRC –16.90%
A bank (Halifax, Natwest, HSBC etc) –15.70%
Royal Mail –12.80%
E-commerce sites (Amazon etc) –8%
Other official government websites (, DVLA etc) –8%
A tech/ computer repair service –7%
An insurance provider (PIP, car accident claims) –7%
A pension provider –6%
PayPal – Other payment platform (Apple Pay, Klarna etc) –6%
An Energy provider (Scottish Power etc) –4%
Another delivery service (DPD, Hermes, DHL etc) –4%
A Television/ Broadband provider (Virgin Media,   Sky etc) –2%
Food delivery services (Just Eat, Deliveroo etc) –1%
The NHS –0.70%
Uber –0.40%  

Regional breakdown: Which UK regions are the most and least susceptible to scammers? 

  • Survey results showed that people from Leicester are most susceptible to scams, with 31.58% of respondents from the city initially falling victim to the fraudsters. 
  • Northampton takes  second place, with 30.13% of people from this city reportedly falling for the fake calls or texts. 
  • People from Bradford are the most ‘scam savvy’, with just 18.46% of people responding to the scams, followed by Reading (19.74%) and Hull (20%)

Table: Were you initially a victim of these scam calls/ texts? 


Age breakdown: Which age group is the most susceptible to scammers? 

It comes as no surprise that fraudsters are more likely to target older people, and the survey results reflected this. 

  • Out of all age groups in the survey, people aged 60+ are the most likely to be victims of fake calls or texts, with 27.7% initially falling for the scam. 
  • The second most susceptible age group were those aged 50-59 (27.3%) followed by people aged under 20 (18.2%). 
  • People aged 20-29 are the least likely to fall victim to a scam, with just 5.52% of people in this age group reporting that they fell for the hoax calls or texts. 

What to do if you or a loved one are targeted by an online or text scam?

Commenting on the findings, Private Detective Ali Marsh of Miss AM Investigations had the following advice to offer: 

“As soon as you realise that you have been scammed, report it, as the bad debts will be under your name and address. Report it to your bank/ credit company as they then take responsibility for the Investigations. Action fraud will be alerted and a record of your case will be recorded. 

Most banks will reimburse you if you have transferred money to someone who has scammed you.”

What to do next if you see common online and text scams

For suspicious emails…. [email protected]

Suspicious texts can be forwarded to 7726. It can then be investigated.

Fraud and cyber crime can be reported online to Action Fraud.

Action Fraud UK is also available for help and support.

If you found Scam Britain: the UK’s most common online and text scams helpful, you might also like Cost of living scams and How to spot text impersonation scams.

Tags: , Last modified: September 13, 2022

Written by 12:04 pm News & Views, Home & Lifestyle