We’ve looked into the most common scams targeting people in the UK in the last 12 months to help our customers identify and avoid being the victim of one.

Our research reveals more than seven in 10 adults were targeted by scams in the last 12 months, being hit on average three times each week – that’s over 150 times a year.

The new study also revealed that 13% of people have lost money to fraud, with 7% having lost as much as £5,000 - and a previous NatWest study revealing an average loss of £350 per person.

Scams through digital platforms, social media firms and telecommunications companies make up the entirety of the top 10 financial scams Brits say they experienced this year.

Top scams targeting people

Other top scams

  • Friend or Family scams

Messages sent to your phone or via social media claiming to be someone you know asking for money urgently to pay bills.

  • Get Rich Quick scams

Criminals claim that you’ll make money quickly by investing in a company or goods, with the promise of making far more than you put in.

  • Purchase scams

Criminals place adverts for fake consumer goods and products online, on popular social media and even auction sites to gain money or information. Products often include tech like games consoles, vehicles, concert and event tickets and designer clothing, pets or even holidays.

  • Investment scams

Criminals encouraging people to invest money into fake opportunities or pyramid schemes.

  • Safe Account scams

Criminals call pretending they are your bank or the police and that there has been fraudulent activity on your account, and to protect your funds you must move them to a new account to keep them safe.

  • Lottery cons

Falsely being informed you have won a lottery prize, with a request to send over sensitive personal and/or financial information to claim your prize.

  • Befriending scams

Criminals create fake accounts on social media and send connection requests, and after building up a friendship they ask for money, login information or other favors. 

For help and advice about fraud and scams, visit


Our Fraud Prevention Team have shared six tips for what to look out for to avoid being scammed: 


  1. Knowledge share: Discuss scams you are targeted by or hear about with your family and friends and share information about how to spot and avoid them. Sharing knowledge helps us all to keep up with the fast rate that scams are evolving.
  2. Be honest with your bank: Scammers may ask you to lie to your bank about what a payment is for. Never mislead your bank about the reason for a payment - if you are honest, your bank will be able to help you.
  3. If it’s too good to be true: We all love a bargain but be vigilant when buying from social media and online marketplaces or paying for an investment you’ve come across online. Always do your research and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check the contact details on the website, if there is no address or phone number given, this is an indication that the site may not be genuine.
  4. Be in the know: Your bank, the police or other trusted organisations will never ask you to transfer money to keep it safe or ask for your full PIN, password or passcode.
  5. Take care: Never respond to unsolicited calls, texts, emails or social media messages or open attachments that you feel might be suspicious. They could be criminals attempting to steal your personal information
  6. Use the tools in your banking app: Whether it’s come via email, text or in your banking app, always check your payment requests are going to who you meant them to and pay attention to the scam warnings on your texts and in your banking app. They’re there to keep you safe.


Stuart Skinner, one of our fraud experts, encourages people to talk about the scams they're being targeted with to spread awareness, saying: "Talking about fraud with your family and friends is a good way to share information across generations and keep up to date with latest guidance."

This is particularly important following the increase in ‘friends and family’ scams, where fraudsters impersonate a family member and ask for cash or information – which our research has revealed is the fourth most common type of scam that Brits say they have been targeted with this year.”

NatWest Fraud Research

Read the full press release for more information on our latest research into financial fraud  Most common financial scams of 2023 revealed

NatWest Fraud Study of 2,000 Brits by OnePoll commissioned on behalf of NatWest, August 2023

Financial Capability and Learning
Natwestgroup Content hub
Financial crime
Financial education
scroll to top