Most scams start on social media – Barclays

New data released by Barclays Bank shows almost nine out of 10 purchase scams start on social media.

Purchase scams are where people buy products that either never arrive or aren’t as advertised.

Barclays says on average people lose £1,000 to these kinds of scams, which account for two-thirds of all reported scams.

Barclays UK CEO Matt Hammerstein said that the data shows tech platforms, particularly social media, are the source of “almost all scams” – but there’s no legal framework obligating the tech sector to support the prevention of scams.

The bank called for four policy changes that would help to prevent scams:

  • Create a cross-government group that can coordinate regulators, policymakers, industry groups, and companies across different sectors to effectively fight scams.
  • Make preventing scams a mandatory measure for tech companies.
  • Force companies to publish their scam data to inform customers of the risks involved in using their platforms.
  • Create a victim reimbursement fund which would be financed by all firms whose platforms were used to carry out scams, including tech companies and banks.

According to their data, 76 per cent of Brits feel unsafe on social media due to criminals carrying out scams on those platforms.

Young adults, aged 21-30, are the most likely to be scammed, and they make up 24 per cent of scam victims.

People over the age of 70 are however the ones who lose the most money to scams – making up a quarter of all the money lost to scammers.

(Report information from