"Even confident web users can be vulnerable," researchers say

Women aged 25-34 ‘most likely to fall for web scams’

Women aged between 25 and 34 are the most likely group to fall victim of online scams, according to new research.

Knowthenet.org.uk, a new education site set up by non-profit group Nominet UK, commissioned the study to “better understand the profile of online scam victims and build up a picture of what a typical ‘mark’ will look like.”

The findings come from an experiment conducted with 2,000 online consumers which measured their ability to spot and respond to online scam scenarios.

“Our research shows that even confident web users can be vulnerable. The good news is that there are lots of simple, easy steps you can take to make it harder for the criminals. You just need to stay aware and this site helps you to do that,” said knowthenet director Phil Kingsland.

The tests ranged from fake social network pages to competition scams and the sale of counterfeit goods. In six out of the seven tests, women were most likely to fail the test. However men were most likely to fall for ‘confidence trick scams’, the research found, with 54 per cent of those falling for scams involving sending money to help someone in distress.

Knowthenet.org.uk has made the Threat Test available to the general public so users can assess their ability to identify internet scams. The non-profit org also produced a series of short films to give a fuller account of different types of scams commonly appearing on the internet.

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