According to the Telegraph, figures from Action Fraud show an alarming number of children as young as six are being targeted by fraudsters as more than a thousand children and teenagers are now scammed every month.
Almost 60,000 have reported falling victim to a scam or fraud since 2019, figures from Action Fraud show.
Experts have warned scammers are stealing thousands of pounds from children by convincing them to hand over their parent’s bank or card details online.
More time spent on social media and online games throughout lockdown led to thousands more children and teenagers falling victim to criminals.
Action Fraud received almost 18,500 reports from scam and fraud victims aged 19 and under in 2020 as they were forced to stay at home, a rise of almost a quarter on the 14,967 reports received the year before.
A further 16,811 reports were made in 2021 and more than 8,000 have been lodged so far this year.
As more and more younger children have their own digital devices, fraudsters are inevitably going to chance their attempts on these manipulative minds. Awareness on cyber safety such as bullying and grooming are widely taught in schools but cyber security and scam awareness advice is often left to the home or later years for support. Scams can target anyone, any background, any age and if the narrative fits, they can be lucrative for the criminals masterminding them. When children have direct access to their parent’s bank cards – often for their parents’ convenience – it can be very easy to direct this data into the wrong hands, unbeknown to the victim who is learning about the internet. It is therefore vital that parents spend time with their children and teach them the potential financial dangers of the internet before it is too late but even better to put passcodes on cards before purchases and not to give direct access to card details.