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Politeness is a virtue that many of us were taught in childhood. But could this admirable virtue increase our chances of falling victim to financial scams and fraud? And if so, how can we protect ourselves?

How politeness increases the risk of financial scams

A new study from UK Finance reveals that British politeness could be hindering the fight against scams as the majority of Brits find it difficult to hang up on scammers.

According to the report, the number of impersonation scam cases more than doubled in the first half of 2021. And in the 33,115 cases, fraudsters stole close to £130 million.

Incredibly, the research found that nearly a fifth of people (19%) feel uncomfortable saying no to a request for personal information from a stranger via email or text, with the number rising to 23% when it comes to phone calls. Of those, 92% of people admit to saying yes because they don’t want to come across as rude.

It was found that people use a variety of phrases to avoid saying no, the most common of which is “I’m not sure.”

How to avoid falling victim to financial scams

As revealed by the research, politeness could be leaving a lot of people at risk of impersonation fraud. However, politeness, like any other human behaviour, can be a difficult habit to break.


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