Investment scam victims lose £8,585 on average and people aged 18-24 lured by “get rich quick” promises are the most likely to be conned, according to a major bank.
Victims aged under 45 now account for 70 per cent of reported investment scams, Lloyds Bank said.
Analysis of its data also suggests that people typically make three payments to fraudsters over the course of an investment scam.
People aged 18-24 make up a quarter (25 per cent) of the cases that Lloyds sees, with many younger investors reporting being lured by fake ads on social media promoting cryptocurrencies and meme stocks.
A meme stock refers to shares in a company that have gone viral, surging in value due to popularity among investors rather than financial performance.
The biggest increase in those reporting investment scams over the past 12 months has been among those aged 35-44, with cases jumping by more than half (52 per cent) compared with the previous year.
The average amount lost per victim was down considerably on the previous year, when the figure was £10,217.
However, the sums lost vary hugely, Lloyds said, with older victims often losing much more. Victims aged between 65 and 74 lost £30,397 typically. People aged 18-24 lost £1,433 on average.
Analysis also shows that victims typically make three payments to fraudsters over the course of an investment scam.