Research from identity checking experts 192.com has revealed that 17% have been ‘ripped off’ online and 18% don’t feel safe using online classified advertising sites like Gumtree.
The highest proportion in the poll who had been ripped off were aged 18-24, of which, one in five were victims.
192.com’s nationally representative poll of 1,500 people found that older people were less likely to be defrauded online, though nervousness of online trading effected all age groups. The 55-64 age group had been ripped off less online than younger age groups.
(12% compared to 20%) yet 16% of the over 55s rarely or never felt safe trading online, just four percent less than the most effected age group,(the 18-24s).
The study reflects national trends. According to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, a third of crimes reported to them in July concerned online shopping and auction fraud, and the overall volume of calls about fraud also increased.
A City of London Police spokesperson told 192.com: “I can confirm that since January the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has each month received more than twice as many reports of online shopping and auction fraud from Action Fraud than any other type of fraud.
Putting this spiralling fraud into context, is 192.com’s survey found that a shocking 30% lie to somebody they’re selling a product or service to. Yet, 33% of the survey also said they are ‘most likely’ to trust someone they meet for the first time.
Commenting on the findings, Robin Kramer, Psychologist at the University of Bangor said:
“Our default position is to trust someone rather than not. When considering deceiving others, we come across more situations as we get older in which we judge the benefits to ourselves to outweigh the costs to others. Under these circumstances, the temptation to lie can significantly increase.”