Visa is encouraging people to learn more about the language of fraud by helping them spot common strategies often used by fraudsters which could help them feel more confident when shopping online.

New research commissioned by the credit card provider shows that four in five (80%) UK consumers now make purchases online at least once a month.

However, with the majority (55%) of those who have received fraudulent messages seeing an increase in the last year, and the average internet user targeted twice a week by online crooks, it’s more important than ever that people are able to spot a potential scam.

Persuasive language and unusual spelling and grammar are widely recognised as common signs of fraud, but new analysis by researchers from the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (AIFL), has identified the communicative strategies used by fraudsters in short, one-off messages.

Among the examples of fraud analysed, which included text messages, emails and social media posts, it was discovered that inviting the recipient to click a link was the most common technique (87%).

This was followed by asking the reader to resolve a ‘problem’ (72%), such as rearranging package delivery times or paying a late fee and highlighting unique offers (32%).

Supporting these findings, the researchers found ‘click here’, ‘account information’ and ‘gift card’ to be the most commonly used phrases in fraudulent…

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